Danny Dyer — things you didn't know about the 'EastEnders' star

Danny Dyer at the British Soap Awards
Danny Dyer has become a fan favourite since joining EastEnders in 2013. (Image credit: LightRocket via Getty Images)

Danny Dyer has become a firm favourite for EastEnders fans since he joined the soap back in 2013.

It's hard to imagine Walford without the Carters, especially since the family has been at the centre of some of the biggest storylines over recent years from Mick being wrongly thrown into jail after being framed for shooting Stuart Highway, to Linda Carter's (Kellie Bright) battle with alcohol, and more recently her welcoming a new baby into the family after a fling with Max Branning. 

But, what do we know about the actor behind family man Mick Carter? Some fans of the TV actor and presenter might already know...

  • He starred in Nativity The Musical in 2019
  • He's the face of BBC One game show The Wall
  • His acting career started at just 16

Danny Dyer: little known facts about the 'EastEnders' legend

1. Danny Dyer isn't his real name

Well, according to Celebrity Juice host Keith Lemon it's not, anyway. The comedian has made a long-running joke out of the fact Danny's real name is Malcolm Smith, and now Danny has people calling him Malcolm in the streets.

The actor, who was actually born Daniel John Dyer, told ok.co.uk, "It's really stuck that has. It's random, isn't it? I'm forever getting my driver's licence out and showing people I'm not Malcolm. I swear - even my children don't believe me!"

2. Danny Dyer has got three children 

Danny Dyer gives his daughter Dani a kiss

Danny Dyer with his daughter Dani a kiss! 

While everyone knows Danny's eldest daughter Dani Dyer, after she won hugely popular ITV reality show Love Island, not everyone knows that the actor also has two other children.

The father-of-three has two younger children, a daughter called Sunnie, 14, and a son called Arty, 8, who was born prematurely and kept his parents on their toes with his dramatic arrival into the world.

3. Danny Dyer married his childhood sweetheart 

Danny might have been with his long-term partner Joanne Mas since they met at school, but they waited until 2016 to get married, meaning all three of their children could be at their big day.

Before Danny made it as an actor, Joanne was the main breadwinner of the relationship, working as a financial advisor.

4. Mick Carter wasn't the first 'EastEnders' role he was offered 

Mick and Linda in EastEnders

Danny has been playing Mick Carter since 2013. (Picture: BBC)

Before the Carters arrived in Walford, soap producers offered Danny the part of Carl White, the ex con who dated Ronnie Mitchell back in 2013.

But considering Carl only lasted 6 months in Albert Square before being killed off, it seems Danny did the right thing holding out for the role of Mick.

5. He's an avid football fan 

While he might have made his name playing diehard Chelsea United supporter Tommy Johnson in The Football Factory, in real life Danny is a life-long West Ham United fan - so much so that his EastEnders alter ego, Mick, is also a huge West Ham fan.

Danny also became the chairman at Greenwich Borough FC back in 2007.

6. He was good friends with Harold Pinter 

Danny has always said he owes his career to British playwright Harold Pinter after he mentored him from an early age.

He once told The Guardian: "I miss him, he was good influence on me. Harold was the only person I feared but loved. He had faith in me, he was a tyrant, but he could get away with it because he was so enchanting."

Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family - ep 2

Danny discovered recently that he's got royal blood... and explored his royal ancestors in 'Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family'. (Picture: BBC/Wall to Wall Media/Jack Coat)

Danny discovered while taking part in BBC family history series Who Do You Think You Are? that he was related to Henry VIII's chief advisor, Thomas Cromwell.

But that's not the only royal bloodline in Danny's family. Elizabeth Seymour, the sister of Henry VIII's third wife Jane Seymour, is also Danny's 14x great grandmother, and Edward III is Danny's 22x great grandfather!

Following this discovery, Danny starred in a TV show about his royal ancestors called Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family.

He's a very proud grandad 

In January 2021 Danny and his wife Joanne became grandparents when their eldest daughter, Dani, welcomed a baby son, Santiago, into the world while in a relationship with Sammy Kimmence. At the time Danny shared his happiness on social media: "So my baby had a baby. Wow, we needed some joy this year! So proud of you @danidyer cannot wait to meet the little beaut."

Danny Dyer's Fact File 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the EastEnders actor....

How old is Danny Dyer?

Danny Dyer's age is 44. His date of birth is 24 July 1977.

Is Danny Dyer married?

Danny Dyer married his long-term partner, Joanne Mas, in 2016.

Does Danny Dyer have any children?

Danny Dyer and wife Joanne have got three children together, Dani, Sunnie and Arty. The couple are also proud grandparents to Dani's baby son, Santiago, who she welcomed into the world in January 2021 while in a relationship with Sammy Kimmence.

Where was Danny Dyer born?

Danny Dyer was born in Custom House, East London.

How tall is Danny Dyer?

Danny Dyer's height is 6 foot.

Twitter: @MrDDyer

Instagram: @officialdannydyer

EastEnders airs Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm and Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC One - see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer now. 

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.