Daniel John Dyer[a][b] (born 24 July 1977) is an English actor who has worked in television, film and theatre. Dyer's breakthrough role was as Moff in Human Traffic, with other notable roles as Billy the Limpet in Mean Machine, and as Tommy Johnson in The Football Factory. Following the success of The Football Factory, Dyer was often typecast in "hard-man" roles, although it was this image that allowed him to present The Real Football Factories, its spin-off, The Real Football Factories International and Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men. Dyer has also worked in theatre, having appeared in three plays written by Harold Pinter, with whom he had a close friendship.
Dyer at Upton Park football ground, in 2010
Daniel John Dyer
24 July 1977
|Residence||Debden, Epping Forest, Essex|
|Occupation||Actor, voice actor, television presenter, football chairman|
Joanne Mas (m. 2016)
|Children||3, including Dani Dyer|
In 2013, he was announced as the latest addition to the cast of EastEnders, playing Mick Carter, the most recent landlord of The Queen Victoria. He had previously turned down a role in 2009, and in his autobiography, Straight Up, said that he would not join the cast until he was "fat, bald and fifty". He won the Serial Drama Performance award at the National Television Awards in 2015, 2016, and 2019.
His screen and stage career, which spans more than two decades, has met with ridicule from some critics; Stuart Heritage in The Guardian wrote that Dyer "has become the byword for low-budget, no-quality Brit-trash cinema".
Early life and education
Dyer was born in Custom House, East London, in 1977, the son of Antony and Christine (née Meakin). He has a younger brother, Tony (born 1979), and sister, Kayleigh (born 1986). His parents split up when he was nine and he was raised by his mother in Custom House. He began acting when he was a teen, and was bullied at school so badly by his peers that he lied about taking acting classes.
In 2016, Dyer's ancestors were the subject of an episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, a BBC documentary that looks into the family history of celebrities. Research revealed that his family hails from the Poplar area. Census records showed many of them working in the manual occupations connected to the docks on the River Thames. Tracing his ancestors even further back, research found that his 15× great grandfather was Thomas Cromwell. His 14× great grandmother was Elizabeth Seymour, the sister of Jane Seymour, who was Henry VIII’s third wife. Elizabeth married Cromwell’s son Gregory Cromwell and, with the Seymour family’s assertion to be descended from Edward III (his 22× great grandfather), the line stretches back to William the Conqueror. In response, geneticist Adam Rutherford said that an English person's descent from Edward III was not remarkable because "almost every Briton" can claim such descent.
His many other television roles include appearances in the 2003 Channel 4 drama Second Generation, directed by John Sen; as Malcolm, main character Michelle's stepfather, in Skins; as a football player in the second series of Hotel Babylon; and as Matt Costello in what was supposed to be the pilot episode for Breathless, a BBC two-part television series in development from BBC Northern Ireland, renamed first "Blood Rush" and then Kiss of Death, when it premiered on BBC One as a one-part drama on 26 May 2008.
Beginning in 2007, Dyer became the presenter of The Real Football Factories and The Real Football Factories International, a TV documentary series on Bravo, for which he travels, in the former throughout the United Kingdom and in the latter throughout the world, to meet and interview football club fans and hooligans. In Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men, "a gritty and hard-hitting documentary series that sees him venturing into the dark depths of the British underworld and hunting down some of the most notorious and feared men in Britain today", began airing on Bravo in the United Kingdom on 20 October 2008.
In February 2012, Dyer appeared as a paramedic in an episode of Casualty. In March 2013, Dyer appeared as a guest on Celebrity Juice. Dyer appeared in the sixth series of Hollyoaks Later in October 2013, as The White Man.
In February 2017 it was announced that Dyer would be taking a "short break" from EastEnders.
In June 2018, Dyer appeared as a guest panelist on Good Evening Britain, a one-off spin-off show of Good Morning Britain, to discuss Britain's exit from the European Union. Dyer described it as a "mad riddle that no one knows what it is" and called the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, a "twat". In August 2018, Dyer began narrating MTV reality series, True Love or True Lies.
Dyer is best known for his "bad boy" or "hard man" roles in film. Dyer's first film role was in Human Traffic (1999). His subsequent movie work includes Mel Smith's High Heels and Low Lifes (2001) and starring roles in Borstal Boy (2000), Mean Machine (2002) and in four films by the British film director Nick Love: Goodbye Charlie Bright (2001); The Football Factory (2004); The Business (2005); and Outlaw (2007). Among other film roles, he also appeared as the character Steve in Christopher Smith's Severance (2006); as Hayden in Adulthood (2008); and as himself in the feature documentary Tattoos: A Scarred History.
In 2008, he finished filming his roles as Pete and Tom in City Rats and 7 Lives, respectively. April 2009 saw the straight to DVD release of City Rats. Later that year, Dyer completed filming on Jack Said, a Brit noir thriller in which he played Nathan alongside Ashlie Walker, Terry Stone, David O'Hara and Simon Phillips, which was released in November 2009. This film is the prequel to Jack Says, which was released in 2008, and starred Mike Reid.
In 2009, he shot several horror films including Doghouse under the direction of Jake West, and Basement under the direction of Asham Kamboj. He played one of the lead roles in the British vampire film Dead Cert. In June 2010, he was cast for the lead role in the remake of the British horror film The Asphyx, but it failed to secure production finance and was indefinitely shelved. Dyer co-starred with Anna Walton in Deviation, a British dark thriller written and directed by J. K. Amalou.
In 2012, Dyer played the lead role in Ray Cooney's Run For Your Wife. Upon release in 2013, it was savaged by critics, who described it as one of the worst British films of all time. The film took in a mere £747 during its opening weekend.
Dyer has performed on stage, most notably in two plays written and directed by 2005 Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter: as the Waiter in the London première of Celebration (2000), at the Almeida Theatre, which transferred to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, in New York, as part of the Harold Pinter Festival held there in July and August 2001; and as Foster in the revival of No Man's Land (1975), at the Royal National Theatre, in London, during 2001 and 2002. In March 2008, he played Joey in a revival of Pinter's The Homecoming (1964), directed by Michael Attenborough, at the Almeida Theatre, in London. He also performed in Peter Gill's play Certain Young Men (1999) in London.
Selected other work
I Believe in UFOS: Danny Dyer, a documentary that sees Dyer journey to various "UFO hotspots" in the UK and the US in hope of experiencing a UFO sighting, was broadcast on BBC Three on 26 January 2010.
Dyer currently lives in Debden, Epping Forest, Essex, with his wife, Joanne Mas, and their three children. He first began dating Mas in 1992; he was 18 when their first child, daughter Dani, was born. They also have a daughter Sunnie and son, Artie. During March 2015, Mas proposed to Dyer, and the couple married on 3 September 2016. In June 2017, it was reported that Dyer had a "six week affair" with Sarah Harding. From June to July 2018, Dyer's eldest daughter, Dani Dyer, appeared in and eventually won as a contestant alongside her ex boyfriend, Jack Fincham, on the popular ITV2 reality dating series Love Island.
Dyer has been outspoken about his use of drugs, in his autobiography he states: "I've always taken drugs and I probably always will, but there's a difference between having the odd crafty bump up the snout as a reward for a job well done and letting it rule your life." He has argued for cocaine to be legalised because he argues banning it has "not worked".
A lifelong player and follower of football, Dyer is a West Ham United fan. In late December 2007, he became the chairman of Kent League's Greenwich Borough F.C. in South East London, appointed by fellow actor Tamer Hassan, president of the football club, stating: "I just love football and the chance of being involved with a club is like a dream come true." The appointment was actually a publicity stunt to raise the profile of the club.
In 2016, Dyer travelled to Sierra Leone to take part in Sport Relief. Dyer said "I don't know what to expect when I go over there, but I'm hoping that it will make some kind of difference. It's an honour to be asked."
Dyer in 2011 released his autobiography Straight Up and in 2016 The World According to Danny Dyer: Life Lessons from the East End.
In 2010, Dyer wrote in Zoo, in his capacity as a celebrity agony uncle, that a young male reader could get over his recent break-up with a woman by "going on a rampage with the boys" or to "cut your ex's face, and then no one will want her ...". The comment was widely criticised in the British media and by members of the public, including the chief executive of the Fawcett Society Ceri Goddard. Dyer for his own part claimed that he was misquoted.
Dyer was quoted in a May 2011 article in NME as wanting to headbutt film critic Mark Kermode. Kermode had criticised and impersonated Dyer on the 24 May edition of his BBC Radio 5 Live show with Simon Mayo.
|1999||The Trench||Lance Cpl. Victor Dell|
|2000||Borstal Boy||Charlie Milwall|
|2001||Goodbye Charlie Bright||Francis|
|2001||High Heels and Low Lifes||Danny|
|2001||Mean Machine||Billy the Limpet|
|2001||Is Harry on the Boat?||Brad|
|2004||The Football Factory||Tommy Johnson|
|2005||The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael||Larry Haydn|
|2006||The Other Half||Mark Lamanuzzi|
|2007||The All Together||Dennis Earle|
|2009||Malice in Wonderland||Whitey|
|2009||Dead Man Running||Bing|
|2009||Just for the Record||Derek La Farge|
|2010||Dead Cert||Roger Kipling||Cameo|
|2010||The Last Seven||Angel of Death|
|2011||Age of Heroes||Rains|
|2013||Run For Your Wife||John Smith|
|2014||Blood Shot (aka In a Heartbeat)||Phillip|
|2014||The Hooligan Factory||Jeff||Cameo|
|1993||Prime Suspect||Martin Fletcher||Episode: "Prime Suspect 3"|
|1993||The Bill||Darrell Hughes||Episode: "Unlucky for Some"|
|1994||Cadfael||Bran||Episode: "The Leper of St. Giles"|
|1995||A Touch of Frost||Shaun Everett||Episode: "Dead Male One"|
|1995||Crown Prosecutor||Shane Cassidy||Episode: "Episode #1.5"|
|1995||Loved Up||Billy||TV Movie|
|1995||Children's Ward||Tony||Episode: "Episode #8.3"|
|1996||The Ruth Rendell Mysteries||Tom||Episode: "Heartstones, Part 2"|
|1996||Thief Takers||Alec||Episode: "The Outcasts"|
|1996||Screen Two||Bert||Episode: "Loving"|
|1996||The Bill||Gavin Parker||Episodes: "Home Truths" and "Merrily on High"|
|1996–1997||Bramwell||Danny||Episodes: "Episode #2.3" and "Episode #3.3"|
|1997||Ain't Misbehavin'||Young Ronnie||3 episodes|
|1997||Highlander||Andrew Baines||Episode: "Avatar"|
|1997||Soldier Soldier||Gary Fox||Episodes: "Line of Departure" and "Sounds of War"|
|2002||Dead Casual||Wayne||TV Movie|
|2002||Foyle's War||Tony Lucciano||Episode: "A Lesson in Murder"|
|2003||Serious and Organised||Darren Evans||Episodes: "Greed" and "Unfaithful"|
|2003||Second Generation||Jack||TV Movie|
|2004||Family Business||Yankie||6 episodes|
|2005||MIT: Murder Investigation Team||Marc Sharaff||Episode: "Sexual Tension"|
|2005||Rose and Maloney||Danny||Episode: "Carl Callaghan"|
|2006||All in the Game||Martin||TV Movie|
|2007||Hotel Babylon||Dave Osbourne||Episode: "Episode #2.2"|
|2007||Skins||Malcolm||Episodes: "Cassie" and "Michelle"|
|2008||Kiss of Death||Matt Costello||TV Movie|
|2012||Casualty||Rossy||Episode: "Love Is"|
|2013||Plebs||Cassius||Episode: "The Gladiator"|
|2013||Power to the People||Marc Cannon||Episodes: "Ops Populus" and "Keeping the Faith"|
|2013||Hollyoaks Later||The White Man||4 episodes|
|2013–||EastEnders||Mick Carter||Series regular|
|2018||True Love or True Lies||Himself||Narrator|
|2019||Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family||Himself||Main role|
- Certain Young Men (1999), by Peter Gill
- Celebration (2000), by Harold Pinter
- No Man's Land (2001–2002 revival), by Harold Pinter
- The Homecoming (2008 revival), by Harold Pinter
- Kurt and Sid (2009), by Roy Smiles
|2002||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Kent Paul||voice only|
|2004||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas||Kent Paul||voice only|
- Dyer, Danny (30 September 2010). "2: I Feel Love". Straight Up: My Autobiography. Random House. p. 6. ISBN 9781409049296. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
Most people assume that my name is Daniel. It isn't. It's, in fact, Danial. My dad was so pissed when he filled out the birth certificate that he spelled the name wrong. That's why I changed my name to Danny smartish when I hit secondary school. Danial's a bit too near to Danielle.
- Dyer, Danny (30 September 2010). "2: I Feel Love". Straight Up: My Autobiography. Cornerstone Digital. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-09-955298-7.
I was born on 24 July 1977 in Custom House in London's East End...
- Dyer, Danny (2010). Straight Up: My Autobiography p. 3.
- Dyer, Danny (30 September 2010). "16: Pony and Trap". Straight Up: My Autobiography. Random House. p. 205. ISBN 9781409049296. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
At first I was quite diplomatic about it and I was saying, 'It might happen, you never know' and then I was getting more and more pissed off at the constant stream of questions. To this one reporter, I said, 'I'll do it when I'm fat, bald and fifty.' It was more to get the interviewer to shut up about it than anything else, but it upset the BBC.
- "National Television Awards 2015: Nominations in full as Mary Berry battles Simon Cowell". The Independent. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "EastEnders star Danny Dyer wins Serial Drama Performance award at the 2015 NTAs". Radio Times. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Adejobi, Alicia (21 January 2016). "National Television Awards 2016: EastEnders star Danny Dyer steals the show with hilarious speech". International Business Times. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
- Reporters, Telegraph (23 January 2019). "NTAs 2019: Ant and Dec in emotional win while Danny Dyer pays tribute to Harold Pinter". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- "Why I love GTA: Vice City – Reader's Feature". Metro. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- Gilbert, Gerard (19 April 2013). "'I'm Danny Dyer not Danny Day-Lewis': The professional geezer is an actor to be reckoned with". The Independent. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- Heritage, Stuart (19 August 2010). "Dyer straits: how can Danny save his career?". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916–2007
- "Danny Dyer says he was bullied at school for pursuing an acting career". The Independent. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
- "Who Do You Think You Are? series". BBC One. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- "The Genealogist featured articles – Danny Dyer's Cockney and Royal Roots". TheGenealogist. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- "The National Archives historical censuses from 1841 to 1911". The National Archives. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
- Rudgard, Olivia (27 June 2017). "It's not just Danny Dyer who is related to royalty - we all are, geneticist says". The Daily Telegraph.
- "Television". Danny Dyer. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
- "Dyer Guest Starring in Skins Series". Radio Times. BBC Magazines, Ltd. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- "Member Profile: David Bowen: Biography". Film Network. BBC. 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2008.
- "Louise Lombard, Lyndsey Marshal and Danny Dyer Star in Kiss of Death – A New Crime Drama for BBC One" (Press release). BBC Press Office. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- Danny Dyer (20 October 2008). "Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men" (Video clip interview). Virgin Media. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- Pile, Stephen (25 October 2008). "Only TV Can Show You a Pouch from Your Couch". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
First up [on the series] was Stephen 'The Devil' French in Liverpool, who robbed drug dealers, which is known as 'taxation'. ... Inconveniently, the devil had reformed. 'I got the feeling he was on his own journey,' Danny said. He was seen giving a respectful lecture to academic criminologists on his new anti-gun campaign. He is trying to counter the massive growth in Liverpudlian gun use, which arose largely so that people could protect themselves from him. ... Danny did his best to show his own bravery in being around this man. 'My bum is flappin' a little bit,' he informed us. Eventually the Devil re-enacted what he would have done when he was a hard man. ... 'This is the first time a real-life taxation scenario has ever been shown on TV,' said Dyer.
- "Danny Dyer turns down EastEnders role". RTÉ.ie. 20 January 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
- "Danny Dyer to take over EastEnders' Queen Vic". BBC News. October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "Danny Dyer taking 'short break' from EastEnders, BBC confirms". BBC News. 17 February 2017.
- Sommerlad, Joe (29 June 2018). "Danny Dyer's Brexit rant in full: Read the actor's frank thoughts on David Cameron and Britain's EU withdrawal". The Independent. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
- Turner, Laura Jane (17 August 2018). "True Love or True Lies: Who is real and who is FAKE?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- McGurk, Stuart. "Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family is a right royal mess". British GQ. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- "Danny Dyer wants to abandon 'hard man' image". The Daily Telegraph. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
- "Film". Danny Dyer. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- Tattoos: A Scarred History
- "Welcome". Danny Dyer. Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- Barton, Steve (30 October 2009). "Danny Dyer Locked in the Basement". DreadCentral.
- Barton, Steve (29 June 2010). "Dead Cert Update and New Exclusive Stills". DreadCentral.
- Barton, Steve (14 June 2010). "Exclusive Concept Art and Casting News: The Asphyx Remake". DreadCentral.
- jackmeat (24 February 2012). "Deviation (2012)". IMDb.
- Clark, Nick (20 February 2013). "Dire news for Danny as Run For Your Wife takes paltry £747 at box office". The Independent.
- "Celebration: Premiere". Harold Pinter. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- "No Man's Land (2001): Royal National Theatre, London". Harold Pinter. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "Danny Dyer: Biography". Filmbug (filmbug.com). 1 January 2000. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- "Pinter's Homecoming at Almeida from 31 January 2008". London Theatre Guide – Online. Londontheatre.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2008. [Corrected title]
- "Other Work". Danny Dyer. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- Polydor (20 August 2007), The Twang – Two Lovers (Official Video), retrieved 14 February 2019
- "BBC TV & Radio Programmes". BBC. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
- "Danny Dyer stars in Lucy Rose music video for 'Nebraska'". The Independent. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Tobin, Edmund (4 November 2009). "Actor targeted by Golden Triangle car thieves". Epping Forest Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- Alex, Susannah (9 August 2018). "Danny Dyer once had an affair with wife Joanne Mas". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Graham, Daniella (2 March 2015). "It's war: Danny Dyer's engagement leads to Twitter row with Katie Hopkins". Metro. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
- "First picture of Danny Dyer's wedding as EastEnders co-star posts photo from boozy bash online". The Daily Record. 4 September 2016.
- "Inside Danny Dyer and Sarah Harding's six-week affair – and what it means for his marriage to Jo Mas". 2017.
- "Danny Dyer: 'I'll always take drugs'". 2010.
- "Danny Dyer 'thinks cocaine should be made legal'". 2011.
- "Danny Dyer Joins Real Football Factory". News Shopper Online. 23 December 2007. Retrieved 12 October 2008.
- Revealed in interview on BBC Radio 4 programme Loose Ends broadcast 12 September 2009 
- Brown, David (14 January 2016). "EastEnders star Danny Dyer on his Sport Relief mission to Sierra Leone – "I'm a very emotional person, so I'm going to be a mess"". Radio Times. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
- Busfield, Steve; Sweney, Mark (5 May 2010). "Danny Dyer advises Zoo reader to 'cut his ex's face'". The Guardian.
- "Danny Dyer 'threatens to headbutt film critic Mark Kermode'". NME. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- "Pimp reviewed by Mark Kermode". BBC. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2011.