Danny Dyer has assured viewers that the upcoming storyline featuring the rape of his screen partner Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) will make for “powerful” viewing.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com at tonight’s Inside Soap Awards, where he won Best Actor for his performance as Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter, Dyer also said he felt certain that EastEnders had explored the emotive subject matter in the correct manner.
“Soaps have a massive impact on people’s lives and should tackle issues like rape,” the actor said. “We’ve done it in a way that’s not cliched. It’s a horrible thing that happens every day and I know we’ve dealt with it in the right way. We’re trying to get the point across that if something happens to you, then you should come forward and talk about it and not bottle it up and hide it away.”
The harrowing scenes, in which Linda is raped by family member Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo), will air on Monday 6 October, with the pub landlady opting not to tell Mick what was happened to her in the aftermath of the crime for fear of the consequences.
“It’s riveting telly, it’s powerful and we’re trying to get something across and to make a point. It’s a bit political and a bit controversial, but you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen as of next week,” said Dyer.
Rape Crisis, who has been working with the BBC1 soap on the story, states on its website that only 15 per cent of the 85,000 women who are raped and over 400,000 who are sexually assaulted in England and Wales every year report what has happened to them: ‘one significant reason many women and girls tell us they don’t go to the police is because of their fear of not being believed,’ says the charity.
The statement echoes comments made last December by Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, who told BBC Radio 5 Live that only 20 to 25 per cent of victims reported their attacks to the police. “A lot of people feel that they will be questioned or they will be seen as being culpable,” he said, before assuring victims that they would be listened to should they come forward.
Speaking recently to RadioTimes.com, actor Matt Di Angelo – who plays Dean Wicks – said that he didn’t know whether his character would face a jail term for the crime, but said that EastEnders had an obligation to accurately portray real life. “That’s the scary part of the story we’re trying to tell. The injustice is the interesting bit. And we’re showing that not all rapists are these big, ugly, smelly, sweaty men with masks. A lot of rapists are young normal-looking men.”