When Danny Dyer moves his screen family into the Queen Vic this Christmas, the big question won’t be ‘who’s wearing the trousers?’ so much as ‘who’s wearing the pink dressing gown?’
Yes, the hard-man star of such movies as The Football Factory and Vendetta will be seen borrowing a lovely frilly little number from Carter matriarch Linda (as played by Kellie Bright).
“He’s quite in touch with his feminine side,” says Danny Dyer, who plays new landlord Mick. “He keeps nicking Linda’s dressing gown and we have a big row where she wants it back. It’s showing a side to me that no one has really seen before and that’s why I was so interested in the role.”
Yet it’s not just the chance to exhibit a fresh side to his personality that appeals to Dyer – it’s also an opportunity to show his acting off to his children after years of appearing in mainly 18-rated movies:
“I get to sit down with the kids and they can see something that I’ve done. I’ll have a bit of turkey and watch EastEnders with the family, which is a beautiful thing. It’s a new chapter in my life and I’m ready for it.”
But do the long hours on the set of the BBC1 soap mean that he is now seeing less of his nearest and dearest? “It’s tough, I’m here all day and I miss them. It does feel like I’ve got two families – I’m in a soap and I go home to a soap. But it’ll all calm down eventually. Some people get up and take a Tupperware box to a building site, so I feel blessed to have the job I’ve got.”
Danny Dyer makes his EastEnders debut in the episode airing on Christmas Day (BBC1, 8.30pm)