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Danny Dyer in Pinter Seven (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Danny Dyer in Pinter Seven (Photo: Marc Brenner)

10 things you didn’t know about Danny Dyer

Eleni Cashell

By Eleni Cashell First Published 11 February 2019, Last Updated 14 February 2019

You know him as a cheeky cockney chappy, a pub owner in the EastEnd(ers), for being a Love Island winner’s dad and for basically being an absolute legend.

But with Pinter Seven now up and running, it’s time to ask the question, do you really know everything about Danny Dyer? Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about him.

He was friends with Harold Pinter

There have been a plethora of big names taking part in the Pinter at the Pinter season, but for Danny, there’s a particularly personal reason for him to take part; he was friends with Harold Pinter.

Danny was directed by the great man himself in three plays, two of which were directed by Pinter, before the iconic playwright sadly passed away in 2008. Danny had performed as the Waiter in the London première of Celebration, Foster in the revival of No Man’s Land and Joey in a revival of The Homecoming.

Speaking to the Guardian about Harold Pinter, Danny said:

“I miss him, you know, he was a good influence on me. He was the only person who I feared but loved. He had faith in me…he knew I was a talented actor. He was a tyrant, too, you know, but he could get away with it because he was so enchanting. He was a poet.”


He’s related to royalty

The cast of Six The Musical (Photo: Idil Sukan)

Sounds like the plot of one of Danny’s films, but rather brilliantly this is absolutely true.

While taking part in an episode of the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? Danny discovered he was related to Henry VIII’s chief adviser, Thomas Cromwell (who was his 15× great grandfather).

And the royal connection didn’t stop there.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, it quickly transpired that Danny’s 14x great grandmother was Elizabeth Seymour, the sister of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife (who also has an absolute tune in Six: The Musical).

And it STILL didn’t stop there! Elizabeth went onto marry Gregory Cromwell, making Edward III Danny’s 22× great grandfather. Danny’s family tree stretched all the back to William the Conqueror. That’s right. Danny Dyer is related to William the actual Conqueror.

Danny’s family tree was so unbelievable that he went on to be given his own BBC show about it, Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family, which explored his newly discovered heritage.


He initially turned down his EastEnders role

Danny Dyer in rehearsals for Pinter Seven (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Another link to royalty (sort of), is that Danny has played Mick Carter in EastEnders, owner of the Queen Victoria pub since 2013.

Danny has received a lot of success in this role, including winning three National Television Awards, and making The 100 Greatest EastEnders Characters of All-Time list after only two years on the show.

But Mick wasn’t the first role that the EastEnders’s bosses offered Danny. In fact, back in 2009 they offered him the part of Carl White, an ex-boyfriend of Kirsty Branning. But Danny turned it down, saying that although the role sounded great, he didn’t think he could cope with the pressure.

Although it meant Danny wasn’t a part of Albert Square for a few more years, it all worked out for the best, as the character of Carl White was actually killed off in 2014.


He’s a voice on a video game

If you’ve ever played a Grand Theft Auto game and thought one of the voices sounded familiar, you might have just heard the dulcet cockney tones of Danny Dyer.

Danny has been the voice of character Kent Paul in GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas. In true Danny Dyer style, his lines in the games included, “Yeah, I’m the guvnor ’round here,” “I’ll treat you. Whatever you want,” and “Don’t you worry about a thing, mate.”


He’s been in two music videos

Not one to remain in TV, film, games and theatre, Danny has also branched out into the world of music.

No, sadly this doesn’t mean he’s released an album (although we’d pay good money for one), but he’s appeared in two music videos. He popped up in Lucy Rose’s Nebraska, and in a promo video for rock band The Twangs.


He’s been acting for over 25 years

You’re probably aware that Danny is no newbie to the acting world, but did you know he’s been acting for over TWENTY-FIVE YEARS.

He was first discovered when he was still in school, at the young age of 15. An agent saw him performing and auditioned him for a role in the ITV drama, Prime Suspect. He promptly landed the part, his first ever professional acting gig, and before he knew it, he was acting alongside Helen Mirren. Yes, Helen Mirren, the golden globe winning, Olivier-award winning, BAFTA-winning, and every other award you can think of winning, actress. Danny Dyer’s acting debut was opposite her. And he was only fifteen.

Since then, Danny has grown to have 84 acting credits to his name, his most recent being in performance in Pinter Seven.


He’s a chairman of a football club

Danny Dyer in rehearsals for Pinter Seven (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Danny makes no secret that he’s a massive West Ham United fan. However, in 2007 he added Kent League’s Greenwich Borough F.C to his football fandom, as Danny became their chairman as part of a publicity stunt.

When he was appointed the chairman, Danny said: “I just love football and the chance of being involved with a club is like a dream come true.”


He has an entire novelty store dedicated to him

If you not only love Danny Dyer, but some of the amazing catchphrases he’s come out with over the years in films and TV, then you’re going to LOVE this next fact we’ve unearthed.

There is an actual merchandise shop that’s completely dedicated to selling Danny Dyer themed gifts. From mugs and mouse mats to t-shirts and baseball caps, if you want to decorate your entire home and wardrobe with just Danny Dyer’s face, then you can with their help!


He’s appeared in a Coca-Cola ad


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Shortly after appearing opposite Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect, Danny landed his next acting gig; an advert for Coca-Cola. The ad went out in 1994, and Danny played an ungrateful teenager who was less than impressed with his mum, who’d bought imitation cola, and not the real thing. Picky picky!

You may recognise his co-star in this advert too. It’s none other than Andrew Knott, who’s previously appeared in the History Boys and Gavin & Stacey.


His daughter’s also an actor

Danny Dyer in rehearsals for Pinter Seven (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Danny’s daughter, Dani (seriously, what a legend) has clearly been influenced by her dad, as she’s also an actor.

Way before she won Love Island, Dani Dyer had already done nine acting jobs, including starring alongside her dad in two films, Doghouse and Vendetta.

Basically, the entire Dyer clan are legends.


You can see Danny Dyer, as well as Martin Freeman, John Heffernan and Gemma Whelan in Pinter Seven at the Harold Pinter Theatre until 23 February 2019.


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