DANNY Dyer has broken his silence on his EastEnders exit telling fans it’s going to be “f***ing special”.
The actor, 44, also insisted his much-loved character Mick Carter will not be killed off leaving the door open for a return in the future.
Speaking to daughter Dani on their Sorted with the Dyers podcast, he said: “I am leaving EastEnders. I’m very lucky, I’m very grateful. When you’re in a job like a soap your contract comes up for renewal and every time it has they’ve asked me to stay, and I’m very grateful for that. Because I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. It’s very tough.
“I always debate whether I want to sign again and I’ve been contemplating a while now about whether it’s time to roll the dice, take the leap.”
Danny denied that he’s been snapped up by a rival channel in a bumper £1million deal.
He continued: “I’ve not been poached by anybody, that’s not true at all.
“The big news is I’ve decided not to renew my contract. That’s all. That’s not because I’ve fallen out with anybody, I love everybody. That job has been amazing for me. It’s an important part of television.
“I’m grateful for the beautiful years I’ve had there. I’m going to miss the people massively. It’s me taking a risk.”
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EastEnders fans were left devastated by the shock exit, taking to social media to voice their upset.
Addressing the viewers, those that both love and hate him, he said: “I know some people will be jumping for joy at the idea of me leaving EastEnders, there will be others who are quite disappointed. Other people will wish me the best for the future.
“There’s no big story around it, really. Other than the fact I’ve decided to go off and try some other stuff.
“I’m 44 now, and I’ve had nine years of playing Mick and I think he needs to be rested. I’m still looking for that defining role. Maybe it is there, maybe it isn’t. But I’ve always been quite ambitious and I had quite a long career before I went into EastEnders.
“I know the landscape has changed slightly but I want to go out there and have another go, and the only way I can do that is if I decide to walk away from the job.”
Danny has played pub landlord Mick for nine years and been part of some major storylines including a battle with alcoholism that nearly cost Mick his life, the breakdown of his marriage to wife Linda and a harrowing tale of childhood abuse.
“I just wanted to put my little version out there,” said Danny. “It is true. It does give me a weird feeling to think I’m walking away from a job that’s been a massive part of my life.
“But it had to be done, and it was definitely the right time.
“Let me tell you something – Mick’s exit is going to be a very, very powerful thing. I would love the door to be left open, and as far as I know it is.
“So who knows. When I go out there and I fail miserably I can come back with my tail between my legs and go, ‘Will you take me back?’
“But I just want to send out some love to everyone at EastEnders. I love you all very much.
“It’ll be a sad year for me, but I’m also very excited about it. So we’re going to attack this year, and we’re going to make this year a f***ing special one.”