From issue 40, Autumn 2018
SAYING IT LIKE IT IS?
Has actor Danny Dyer become the rough diamond speaking for the people?
Actor Danny Dyer is known to millions as lovable Mick Carter since joining EastEnders five years ago. Like most in Albert Square, Mick’s had a rocky time but it was Danny himself hitting the headlines this summer. And not just for being dad to Dani, winner of Love Island.
Born in the Docklands in 1977, Danny has never even attempted to disguise his roots. His Cockney accent and soft-round-the-edges hard man looks have been his fortune. Since ‘breaking through’ in 1999’s Human Traffic, he’s never strayed too far from the same image.
And while the critics have been none too kind, a couple of National Television Awards might make up for it. But he’s fast making a name for himself as a straight-talking man of the people. We might not always like what he says. But whether on TV or in his books, (yes, he’s written two!), it’s refreshing he’s ready to say it.
In June, Danny’s appearance on the evening spin-off of Good Morning Britain left viewers shocked and presenters red-faced. In a potty-mouthed tirade, he launched into Brexit: “No one has got a f***ing clue what Brexit is. It’s like this mad riddle that no one knows what it is.” Then he turned his sights on the former Prime Minister who called the vote on Britain’s future in the EU: “What’s happened to that t*** David Cameron? How comes he can scuttle off? He’s in Europe with his trotters up. He should be held to account for it.”
“If you’re working forty hours a week and you can’t cover your bills, that ain’t your fault”
Whatever we think of Brexit, there’s no denying Danny says it how he sees it. In 2016 he published his book The World According To Danny Dyer: Life Lessons from the East End. In it, his wisdom is part tongue-in-cheek, part bloke down the pub. But when he’s not taking aim at poncey gastropubs or Twitter, he has something to say on so called ‘benefit culture’: “There are p***-takers, no one doubts that. But I know plenty of people on benefits who work hard – it’s just they don’t get paid enough to cover the basics of life.”
It’s not always a popular point of view but Danny doesn’t seem to worry. Turning his sights on the bosses, it’s them, he says, who should be criticised if people working full time still have to claim welfare. “If you’re working forty hours a week and you can’t cover your bills, that ain’t your fault. It’s the fault of the slags paying you.”
Danny Dyer is not refined. He is not always right. Sometimes he deserves to be called
an idiot. But with a twinkle in his eye, he’s happy to call out the so-called great and good. In these days of fake news and spin, it’s a bit of a tonic. Wouldn’t it be great if more in the public eye would say what they mean and mean what they say?
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