Danny Dyer: Benedict Cumberbatch would be “useless” on EastEnders

The Albert Square star has challenged “snotty-nosed” actors who look down on soaps

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EastEnders star Danny Dyer has spoken out at suggestions that soap acting is easier than other roles, singling out mainstream actors like Benedict Cumberbatch as unable to do the work he does.

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“Doing soap is the hardest discipline there is,” Dyer tells the new edition of Radio Times, available in shops from tomorrow (Tuesday 15th November).

“I’d love to see a snotty-nosed actor who says, ‘I’m too good for this,’ come in and be exposed.”

When asked how he thought Cumberbatch would do, he continued: “He would be useless. Could he do a cockney accent? Of course he couldn’t.

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“But then I can’t do what Benedict Cumberbatch does. We all do what we can do, whether you’re Idris Elba, whether you’re me. No one else can do what Damian Lewis does, which is why he’s got a career. And no one can do Danny Dyer like I can do Danny Dyer.” 

This isn’t the first time that Dyer has taken aim at Cumberbatch, telling the Radio Times in 2014 that “if he walked into a pub he’d get annihilated by geezers. He’d be bullied.” 

In the 2014 interview, he continued: “I love Benedict. The Imitation Game looks amazing. He couldn’t play a kid from a working-class estate, but I couldn’t do what he does either.

“I think that I could play Sherlock, though, if I did it my way. Benedict’s brilliant and the lines roll off his tongue, but that role is about being highly intelligent rather than posh.

“I think I could do Doctor Who as well.”

You heard him, Benedict – the gauntlet has been well and truly thrown down. Report to Albert Square as soon as possible and we can settle this once and for all.

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To read the full interview, you can pick up the new edition of Radio Times tomorrow (Tuesday 15th November) in shops and on the newsstand.