EastEnders: Danny Dyer on Mick’s prison hell – can he survive behind bars?

"We delve into the darkness of what jail is like" promises the star

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EastEnders‘ Mick Carter is in prison for the attempted murder of Stuart Highway, after his evil arch enemy woke from a coma and told police the Queen Vic landlord was the person who shot him. Whether or not Stuart is being truthful is unclear, as the identity of who pulled the trigger remains a mystery for now.

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Next week, we follow Mick’s story inside as he adjusts to prison life. On Monday 24 September, the incarcerated publican’s porridge gets off to a bad start, but cellmate Bob steps in to show him the ropes. Despite trying to keep his head down, Mick ends up clashing with terrifying top dog Fraser, who issues the inmate with an ultimatum on Tuesday 25 September. By Friday 28 September, tension builds between Mick and Fraser as his threat hangs over him, while Stuart sticks to his story and insists Mr Carter is guilty.

RadioTimes.com caught up with the one and only Danny Dyer to discuss Mick’s jail experience, and how he found being behind a very different kind of bar for his latest storyline…

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How is Mick feeling in the aftermath of the shooting and being sent to prison?
He is devastated about the whole situation. Stuart was one of his oldest friends and it kills him to think he didn’t even know who the man was.

Do you think he’ll be able to cope in jail?
Mick is thinking he won’t be there for long. He’s saying he hasn’t done it, and believes he’ll be out in a matter of days. He just has to survive it and get through being in there.

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Is he worried his family could be more vulnerable than ever with Stuart awake?
He knows Shirley will protect Linda and Tina, but he does worry about his little boy of course and he knows Stuart is a threat. But Mick is focused on getting through this prison process.

Why does being in prison get off to a bad start for Mick?
Mick’s been sent to quite a dangerous prison. As soon as he walks in he realises he’s on his own and has no friends there. It’s a real wake-up call and he needs to find his feet quickly.

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He clashes with ‘top dog’ Fraser – what sort of a character is he?
Mick realises that if you’re going to survive, you need to get in with whoever is running the wing – and Fraser is that man. Mick needs a mobile phone, or a burner as you call them, to ring his son Johnny so he can wish him happy birthday because he doesn’t want Johnny to know he’s in prison.

What sort of consequences does Mick face from Fraser if he doesn’t do as he is told?
Well, he’s just trying to find his feet. He doesn’t know the prison rules yet, he just wants to stay out of trouble and do his time as quickly as possible so he’s learning with every minute of the day. Mick has no idea how much trouble he ends up getting in…

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What was your reaction when you heard Mick would be sent to prison?
What I was really pleased about was we don’t just leave it at the gates, we actually delve into the darkness of what it’s like to try and survive in prison. I’m happy to be focused on that. Plus it’s tied in lovely with the Stuart storyline. With Stuart all bets are off, anything can happen.

Was it strange being out of the Vic and in the prison set?
The job changes when you go off the Square. We built a set within the studio and I was interacting with different characters so it didn’t feel like EastEnders for a bit. I really think we’ve nailed it, it’s been very well cast. It was nice to get a bit of a fresh intake on how Mick would survive away from his family.

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Would you like Mick to be the one who brings Stuart down once and for all?
Yeah, of course. I don’t know what happens next but I would have thought Mick is going to be slightly adjusted as a human being now. Ultimately he will want revenge for everything – all you have in prison is your own thoughts and Mick’s been thinking about Stuart a lot…

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