Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright have reacted to Mick Carter's shocking exit from EastEnders.


During the dramatic Christmas Day episode (25th December 2022), Mick finally saw the true colours of his pregnant wife Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) as her evil actions were exposed, including her framing Linda for drink driving and crashing her car with daughter Annie inside and blackmailing Jada Lennox (Kelsey Calladine-Smith) into framing Linda for being drunk while caring for Annie.

In the aftermath of Jada calling out Janine's actions, Linda had a heart-to-heart with Janine's daughter Scarlett who exposed the circumstances of the crash. After a physical clash with Janine, Linda had an emotional discussion with Mick who professed how he loved her and always had and the pair reconciled.

However, before the authorities could handle Janine, the scheming soap icon fled Albert Square in a car, prompting Mick and Linda to chase after her as she tried to head to Dover and leave the country and her daughter Scarlett behind.

Eventually, Mick and Linda caught up with her as she turned off near the coast and Mick had a confrontation with her where Janine's evil side was fully unveiled before she kneed him in his groin and then tried to flee, but Linda climbed into the passenger seat of her car and tried to stop her.

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Charlie Brooks as Janine Butcher in EastEnders
Charlie Brooks as Janine Butcher in EastEnders. BBC

As a result, the car went over the side of a cliff and into the sea.

A panicked Mick jumped in after them and Linda implored him to rescue pregnant Janine and he did before returning into the waters for Linda.

Yet, as Mick disappeared into the waters, Linda emerged on the shore and soon was screaming out his name, to no avail.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, actors Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright joined executive producer Chris Clenshaw to discuss Mick Carter's departure.

Dyer noted that for the water element to have significance "it’s probably important to know the history of the show for that to work – Ian Beale did teach me to swim".

In many ways, Mick's exit called back to a number of moments from EastEnders' history, including Mick's previous fear of bodies of water and Janine Butcher's history of clifftop showdowns with her husbands.

Shortly after Mick's arrival in Walford in 2013, we learned that he could not swim due to a phobia of being in bodies of water after he almost drowned as a child.

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

It was later revealed that his teenage mother Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) - who he had believed to be his sister - had had a breakdown and almost drowned him.

Eventually, Mick overcame his fears and learned to swim with friend Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) before later going on to save lives on his wedding day to Linda on New Year's Day 2016.

Of course, none of that could compare to the emotional departure of Mick on Christmas Day and the choice to leave the show was not a decision that Dyer made lightly.

On Mick’s exit, Dyer noted “It’s very emotional for me... I'm very attached to the show.

"But 20 years I've been knocking about in our industry, for nearly 10 I've been in the show, and to make the decision I made – I didn't make it lightly, you know, because it's a huge job to walk away from and I thought long and hard about it.

"And I just wanted it to be a fitting end. So hopefully it is – there was an alternative ending to be fair, but we've not gone with that."

"There's always a lot of alternative development process," noted executive producer Chris Clenshaw.

Of course, Dyer's exit is also incredibly emotional for Kellie Bright, who revealed her thoughts on the episode.

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

“Yeah, I'm very bad at being impartial and being able to sit back and watch something that I'm involved in," commented Bright. "I thought watching it that the episode as a whole was really great and I think it's really good for a Christmas episode.

"I mean, all the latter part of it obviously involves an awful lot of stunt people, and not a lot of us. I'm always intrigued by that. I'm always curious as to how that's going to work, how it's going to cut together, because our bit is so disjointed – it's sort of a bitty thing to film. So I love watching all of that.

"And obviously I was there for the big moments within the episode, the big Janine reveal, the big scene that I was holding out for - the scene between Mick and Linda. And if I could have made that 10 times longer, I probably would have done!"

Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter in EastEnders.
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter in EastEnders. BBC

Bright noted: "There was such a lot of real raw emotion tied up in the filming of the last episode. I'm very proud to be part of it. I love EastEnders at Christmas, I love filming it, I love being part of it.

"It always feels special and it does feel very much like it's gone full circle because that was when we came into the show."

When noted that it was fitting that Mick and Linda reunited before they were torn apart, Kellie agreed – “however brief” it was.

Bright added that “just seeing Mick and Linda together on screen, it did make me go, 'It’s so right, it's so right seeing them together.’”

Sadly, the couple have been torn apart - at least for now - but we will have to wait and see what lies in store for Linda.

Regardless, Kellie Bright has teased her character's future and for the time being, she will be in mourning.

Before then, EastEnders has the small matter of Janine Butcher's exit on Boxing Day.

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