EastEnders’ Danny Dyer has said he is “proud” of the scenes dealing with his on-screen son’s sexuality as they have helped people come out.
Dyer, 36, made his debut as new Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter on Christmas Day. The scenes in question saw Mick’s son Johnny (Sam Strike) break down in his father’s arms as he admitted he is gay.
Speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show, which airs tomorrow night on ITV, Dyer revealed:
It was a real positive thing. A lot of young gay men, who hadn’t come out yet, they saw that scene and I was getting letters from these guys saying they came out the next day because of it. That’s a powerful thing and I was really proud to be associated with that.
They spun it on the head for me, because obviously my perception and what people think I’m about – that I was going to react badly – and instead I just cuddled him (Johnny) and said, ‘Listen, it’s fine, I love you, no problem’. – Dyer
Dyer added that he feels “overwhelmed” to be part of the long-running BBC saga:
I had a scene with Dot and it was in the laundrette and it’s massive. I’m waiting to go in, I come in halfway through the scene and I’m psyching myself up. It’s like I’m going into a ring with Tyson. I’m going in with a bird who’s pushing 90.
I can’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed by it. You’re brought up watching it and all of a suddenly you are there. – Dyer
EastEnders airs Monday (8.00pm), Tuesday (7.30pm), Thursday (7.30pm) and Friday (8.00pm) on BBC One. The Jonathan Ross Show airs tomorrow night at 9.35pm on ITV.