Danny Dyer: If Benedict Cumberbatch can always play “posh boys”, why can’t I play working class?

The Eastenders actor hits out at industry snobbery and reveals that his tweets have not gone down well with the BBC

Eastenders actor Danny Dyer has spoken out against classism in the acting industry – citing Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch as an example of someone who finds it easier because of his background.


Dyer, who plays cockney Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter, lamented that he isn’t taken seriously in showbiz circles because of his working class upbringing. 

“You’ve got actors like Benedict Cumberbatch – a great actor, but he’s a posh boy playing posh boys. He does it well, and he doesn’t get mocked for that. I play working class people, and I get mocked for it. I’m stereotyped, he’s not. I’ve done plays at the National Theatre, come off stage and gone into the bar and I ain’t got nothing in common with those people.”

Speaking to Woman magazine, Dyer went on to claim that posher actors such as Cumberbatch are better placed to get ahead because they can relate with those hiring them.

“When it comes to playing the game, I’m rubbish,” he explains. “The middle-class actors are better prepped at working the system, because they’ve got more in common with the decision makers.”

As well as taking on classism, the actor also revealed that his tweets – known for being profane – have come under criticism from BBC bosses. 


“I sat down with the producers of EastEnders and the Twitter thing was one of their main worries,” he said. “But they have to understand that they’ve brought me into the show for my brand and there’s a side effect of that. They’re taking a risk with me and that’s what’s going to make it exciting. It’s tough landing as high profile [a job] as EastEnders because I have to be me but dumbed down, and I don’t do that very well.”