Danny Dyer has opened up about the real reason he quit EastEnders.
The actor announced his shock departure from the beloved soap back in January.
The 45-year-old, who is the father of Love Island star Dani Dyer, joined the BBC show in 2013 as Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter.
In an interview with The Sun, Danny admitted he told EastEnders bosses he desperately needed to take time out after his relationship with wife Joanne Mas hit the rocks.
Danny revealed: “I turned around to the bosses of EastEnders and I said, ‘Listen, I’ve gotta go somewhere. I’m going to die.'”
“They was like, ‘Oh, OK. Uh, right’. And so I sorted it myself and I paid for it myself.”
“Fame never suited me. I was always f**king gonna be going down the wrong path. So I lost the plot for many years and I was a f**king lunatic.”
“I became a sort of a cartoon character,” Danny explained. “I created it, don’t get me wrong. I got wrapped up in that and I sort of lost who I was, really.”
“I was doing s**t loads of f**king drugs. I was searching for something. There was a hole in me and I couldn’t work out what the f**k it was.”
Danny and Joanne met as kids, when they grew up on the same council estate in East London.
The couple tied-the-knot in September 2016, after Joanne proposed to him on Valentine’s Day the year prior.
The couple share three children together – Dani, 26, Sunnie, 15 and Arty, 8.
Danny continued: “I knew I had to f**king sort myself out because I’d been — sorry about me language — I’d been a c**t up to this point in the sense of what I was doing, what I was doing away from her, some of the situations I would find myself in.”
“I look back and go, ‘F**king hell man, I was weak.’ I was wounded. I was vulnerable because I was, but of course I couldn’t play vulnerable because I’m playing Danny Dyer, whatever that is.”
“Yeah. So I’m a bad boy, f**king, you know, whatever. And I quite like playing it, but you know, the amount of f**king Diazepam [an anti-anxiety drug] I was on at the time, I was just munching,” Danny revealed.
The actor told the outlet that he had a moment of realisation that he knew he could lose his childhood sweetheart and family, on Jaime Winstone’s new podcast Greatest Night Ever.
“OK, this is it, you’re gonna lose all this,” he recalled. “You’re gonna be a shadow of the man that you are, you are gonna f**k everything up. You’re gonna have no relationship with your kids.”
“This was my moment where I went, ‘Right’. I was just trying to f**king drag me ass over the line.”
“I didn’t want fresh linen,” Danny said. “I didn’t want a Priory-type gaff. I’m not knocking the Priory. I understand it. I needed to be down on a floor, scrubbing khazis and just broken down completely, because what I’ve recognised is ego.”
“We need an ego. It’s very important to us, right? Because it keeps us alive. It keeps us sharp… you need your ego.”
“But sometimes your ego starts to make decisions for you and you’ve gotta know when it’s you making decisions or your f**king ego.”
“I slowly had to realise how to quiet [the temptations] down. I discovered a thing called breath work, which is an hour and a half of you basically just laying down and breathing really hard,” Danny explained.
“And at first, f**king five minutes is f**king work. And then, all of a sudden, you go into this mad f**king place and it brings out this s**t. Right?”
“So the first time I did it, I sobbed me f**king heart out. It took me to a mad place, right. And then, when you stop, you are rushing out… like this is an intense thing.”
During his podcast conversation with Jaime, the actor credited Joanne with saving him.
“This bird, I never know where I stand with her, still. So there’s no grey area with me and Jo.”
“It’s very simple… we have been through so much together… when I started to become famous and have money… I never had money. I come from quite a very working-class background. I’m very proud of where I’m from.”
“I’m from a place called Custom House. And I was, you know… single parent, you know, me old man, f**ked off when I was young. I love me old man, by the way.”
Danny had been taking Diazepam to battle his demons, however insisted he didn’t take them on his wedding day.
“I didn’t need any that day,” he said. “I didn’t need them. And as the night went on, Jo had sorted out these fireworks, she’d basically done this amazing firework display, and it started with the ‘duff, duff’ of EastEnders.”
“I was stood there, looking up at these fireworks, just thinking, ‘The f**k, man, like this f**king woman’.
“She’s just so incredible. And so I can’t lose her. I can’t f**k it up. I can’t f**k it up. Do you know what I mean?”
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“And Dani looked amazing [on our wedding day],” Danny gushed. “She was like the maid of honour, she looked f**king stunning and little Sunnie was running around and it was… I’ve gotta say that it is, that is my greatest night, greatest day just because it spun my nut and I thought, ‘I’ve got to go to get help now.'”
“I had no validation of who I was. The films that I was in, I represented a certain thing to working-class people and I got wrapped up in that.”
I wasn’t very present with Jo, you know, and the kids, with Dani and Sunnie — not so much Arty, he’s eight now. He’s a nutty little character. He’s a posh version of me.”
Danny is set to leave his role as Albert Square’s Mick Carter in an explosive Christmas storyline later this year.