Danny Dyer on the return of The Wall: 'There's so much at stake!'
EastEnders favourite Danny Dyer on the return of his Saturday-night hit The Wall
Nail-biting game show The Wall was a huge hit for BBC1 when it launched last year, pulling in over four million viewers. Its success was in no small part down to its charismatic host, EastEnders actor Danny Dyer, who’s back as quizmaster tonight as the show returns for a second series.
The ultimate game of risk and reward, each week The Wall sees a pair of contestants answer questions in order to drop balls down a giant wall into money slots at the bottom.
Get a question right, the ball turns green and they win the cash - but get it wrong, the ball turns red, and they lose it all! Players need a combination of knowledge, strategy, luck and, more importantly, good teamwork if they want to try and beat The Wall and take home a life-changing cash prize…
Danny’s thrilled to be back working on both The Wall and EastEnders, despite both shows undergoing significant changes to ensure they can be filmed safely during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
There are some major on-screen changes, too, for Danny’s Walford alter-ego Mick Carter, who is no longer landlord of The Queen Vic after recently signing the pub over to show stalwart Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) to protect the health of wife Linda (Kellie Bright), a recovering alcoholic.
Here Danny, 43, teases what to expect from the new series of The Wall and what lies in store for Albert Square’s Mick and Linda this autumn…
With so much uncertainty, as you say, have the contestants been putting themselves under more pressure to win big?
"Yeah, I think we’re all still feeling a bit fractured from lockdown and this has resulted in some really odd behaviour among our contestants. Because of the ongoing crisis and the fact people are losing jobs, we’re finding that players are now being really ‘out there’ with their decision-making. There’s a hell of a lot of money at stake and, on this show, you can lose the lot! It makes for great telly, I'll give you that!"
Do you find yourself rooting for the contestants now more than ever?
"I won’t lie, this wall does wind me up! I do find I get so involved in the gameplay because it’s real people’s emotions and real drama; I’m there, I’m driving it but it’s basically their journey. I’m always rooting for the contestants and want them to win as much money as possible. So it’s a beautiful thing when it works out for them."
If you were to take on The Wall yourself, who would you play with? And, in round two when the pair is split up, which of you would be in isolation answering the questions?
"I’d probably play with my wife, Jo. I would be the one in isolation and I think my Jo would be out by The Wall running around with the balls. She’s quite reckless; she’s not a gambler, but she does go all in when she does something. So I think we’d be quite a good team. We’d just need the luck of The Wall really… and for me to get the questions right!"
What’s it like being back filming EastEnders?
"We’re a couple of months in now and it took a while to adapt to the social-distancing thing. Every precaution has been taken to get us back on screen safely but the way we’re shooting it is very clever and I don’t think viewers will be able to tell. We have perspex screens between characters who need to appear close on-screen and we’ve had a couple of people’s husbands or wives coming in and putting on wigs, so that two characters can kiss. My character, Mick, is very tactile; he’s quite touchy-feely and likes cuddling, so there’s obviously been less of that!"
The Wall returns Saturday October 3 at 9.15pm on BBC1.
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With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!