Born in London in 1977, Danny Dyer was first introduced to acting when he auditioned for a role at his local school for the Granada Television series Prime Suspect 3 aged 16. He went on to appear in a number of television series as a teenager through the 90s.
Through the 2000s, Dyer became a regular face on British television, and his cockney demeanour made him perfect for more rough-and-ready roles. He had roles in the Channel 4 teen drama Skins, he played a footballer in the BBC series Hotel Babylon, and also made a name for himself as a presenter, fronting programmes like The Real Football Factories and Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men. Dyer also had starring roles in films like Mean Machine opposite Vinnie Jones and The Football Factory.
On stage, Dyer developed a working relationship with the Nobel Laureate playwright Harold Pinter. He appeared as Waiter in the world premiere of Celebration at the Almeida Theatre in 2000 alongside Keith Allen, Lia Williams and Indira Varma. Directed by Pinter, the production then transferred to the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in New York.
Dyer later worked with Pinter when he directed a revival of his play No Man’s Land at the National Theatre, and a revival of The Homecoming, directed by Michael Attenborough at the Almeida Theatre in 2008, with Kenneth Cranham and Nigel Lindsay. Dyer has spoken off working with Pinter, and the influence he had as a mentor on the actor. He said: “He was the only person who I feared but loved. He had faith in me, he suffered all my shit because he knew I was a talented actor.”
He later starred in the Roy Siles play Kurt and Sid at Trafalgar Studios, which imagined a conversation between Kurt Cobain and Sid Vicious, as the Sex Pistols singer tries to convince the Nirvana frontman not to commit suicide.
In recent years, Dyer has become a household name following his casting in the long-running British soap EastEnders as the landlord of the Queen Vic, Mick Carter. The casting was met with surprise by many, especially as he had previously stated he would not join the cast until he was "fat, bald and fifty".