EastEnders' Danny Dyer reveals emotional heartache over leaving the soap

Mick Carter in a blue shirt with his arms on his hips
EastEnders actor Danny Dyer got emotional as he spoke about his soap exit. (Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

EastEnders favourite Danny Dyer has opened up about the emotional decision he made to leave the soap after nearly a decade of playing the Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter.

Danny Dyer's EastEnders departure was announced back in January and now we're even closer to the dreaded day that we have to say goodbye to the much-loved Mick Carter as he makes his explosive Christmas exit.

As Mick prepares to tie the knot with villain Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks), dark secrets threaten to be exposed and Mick's world is set to plunge into devastating chaos this festive period.

But with Mick's last Christmas on the Square soon approaching, actor Danny revealed his heartache over the difficult decision he made to exit the soap and how hard it was to walk away from a place he's called home for the last nine years. 

He told What to Watch and other media: "It's very emotional for me. I'm very attached to this show. It's been a third of my career, I worked it out. 

"Thirty years I've been knocking about in our industry and for nearly 10 I've been in the show and to make the decision I made, I didn't make it lightly 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."

Mick Carter in EastEnders

Mick Carter is saying goodbye to Albert Square. (Image credit: BBC)

During a chat with his daughter Dani on their Sorted with the Dyers podcast earlier this year, Danny shared the reasons why he had decided to leave Walford behind.

He said: “The big news is I've decided not to renew my contract. That's all. It’s me taking a risk. There's no big story around it, really. Other than the fact I've decided to go off and try some other stuff. I'm 44 now, and I've had nine years of playing Mick and I think he needs to be rested. 

"I'm still looking for that defining role. Maybe it is there, maybe it isn't. But I've always been quite ambitious and I had quite a long career before I went into EastEnders. I know the landscape has changed slightly but I want to go out there and have another go, and the only way I can do that is if I decide to walk away from the job."

EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm on BBC One — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer now. 

Find out more about what is on TV this festive season with our jam-packed Christmas TV guide

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides, recaps and features for must-watch shows and delivers all the latest soap news and reactions. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.