Back in January, Danny Dyer revealed he had decided to leave EastEnders after nine years playing Mick Carter. The Queen Vic landlord will be bowing out later this year after almost a decade of non-stop drama, but we're still largely in the dark over exactly how he will be departing.

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Mick split from soulmate Linda (Kellie Bright) late last year as the couple faced conflict over Linda's baby daughter Annie, who she conceived after an affair with Max Branning (Jake Wood) that we would all rather forget! But what Mick still isn't aware of is that his current partner Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) engineered their break-up by stirring the pot and encouraging alcoholic Linda to turn back to drink.

It's been a relatively quiet time for Mick recently, with those around him facing more strife while he remains a pillar of the community behind the bar. But with the promise of an "explosive" exit on the way, how might the much-loved character leave our screens?

RadioTimes.com has everything you need to know as we delve into all the possibilities right here.

When is Danny Dyer leaving EastEnders?

Danny Dyer as Mick Carter and Kellie Bright as Linda Carter in EastEnders
Danny Dyer as Mick Carter and Kellie Bright as Linda Carter in EastEnders BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Danny Dyer is set to depart his role as Mick Carter in EastEnders over Christmas 2022.

It's long been speculated that Mick is set for a Christmas exit – and Dyer himself hinted the same in the spring, telling The Sun: "Maybe it’ll come out at Christmas. When they get it right there ain’t no better show on the television."

Speaking at the British Soap Awards in June, the star also told Evening Standard regarding his imminent soap departure: "There’s two months left and I didn’t take this decision lightly."

Scenes photographed in The Sun show dramatic scenes will see a car go over a clifftop with Dyer seen being filmed jumping over the cliff into the waters below.

Kellie Bright was filming as Linda Carter at the scene and was covered in blood. Has Mick dived in to save Linda?

Charlie Brooks was also seen filming with them as Janine Butcher looks set to be exposed, kneeing Mick in his crotch.

Other photos show Janine trying to flee the scene, so, is this her big exit too?

Will Mick Carter die?

Mick Carter and Janine Butcher in EastEnders
Mick Carter and Janine Butcher in EastEnders BBC

It certainly looks like Mick Carter could drown after jumping over the cliff to save Linda.

If so, has Janine Butcher claimed her latest victim?

Regardless, according to Dyer, death is a possibility. The actor told The Sun: "There’s been a discussion about what we’re gonna do. I might be killed off, I might not. I just want to go out in a huge, epic way. I don’t want to be in the back of a cab.

"I don’t want a heart attack because of high cholesterol. I want to go out and I want to get people talking about it. So, yeah, it’s gonna be huge." This tells us that, if Dyer has his way, any death of Mick's will certainly not be a quiet one.

But, of course, this speculation was inevitable and doesn't necessarily mean that Mick will die. He has also hinted that he may still be able to come back: "Let me tell you something – Mick's exit is going to be a very, very powerful thing.

"I would love the door to be left open, and as far as I know it is. So who knows. When I go out there and I fail miserably I can come back with my tail between my legs and go, 'Will you take me back?'"

Mick Carter exit theories

Charlie Brooks as Janine Butcher and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter in EastEnders

There are so many possibilities that could form Mick's exit storyline. As the star said, he could find himself unable to ever return if the character meets a shocking demise.

It seems the climax to the love triangle with Janine and Linda will end with lives in danger, but will Mick really die this way?

This would also be a tragic callback to one of Mick's earliest storylines as he was afraid of water after almost drowning as a child - when his mother Shirley had a breakdown and tried to drown him.

Eventually, Mick overcame his fears and learned to swim. So, could he put these skills to good use to save Linda and then meet an untimely end?

But we're holding out hope that Mick won't really end up 'brown bread', as he would put it!

Charlie Brooks as Janine Butcher and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter in EastEnders
Charlie Brooks as Janine Butcher and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter in EastEnders Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

What if Mick's fate is left ambiguous and he is "lost at sea"? This would leave the door open for a potential return, Harold Bishop-style.

Co-star Bright has already confirmed that she has no plans to leave EastEnders – but we can't imagine Linda without Mick, and soaps are known for springing surprises on us. So, might she join him for a sunset ending? This could still be "epic" and doesn't have to result in the black cab Dyer wants to avoid...

Of course, a sadder option would see Mick exit alone – but where would he go? Might he decide to move abroad, perhaps returning to see relative Zsa Zsa after his recent visit with mum Shirley (Linda Henry)?

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Whatever happens, we'll certainly miss the reliable, charming Mick Carter!

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Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.

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