Danny Dyer is to take a break from EastEnders, it has been reported. The 40-year-old, who plays the Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter in the BBC soap, will take at least six weeks off from filming to appear in two plays written by Harold Pinter, alongside Sherlock star Martin Freeman. Known to be a good friend of the late playwright, Danny has allegedly signed on for a role in A Slight Ache and The Dumb Waiter - two of the legendary writer's best known works. "[Danny] need to spend a considerable amount of time in rehearsals and on stage so it only makes sense to give him a break from filming," a source told The Sun.
EastEnders star Danny Dyer will be leaving Albert Square for six weeks
The insider added: "He's a huge part of the show and viewers love him so obviously nobody wants to see him away for too long. But this is something he’s really passionate about." The news comes a few months after it was reported that Danny signed a lucrative deal after meeting current show boss John Yorke. A source told the Daily Star Sunday in September that the star will be staying at Albert Square for two more years.
It is believed that the father-of-three was happy to sign the new contract, with a source revealing: "The last year has been a bit up and down for Danny and his character Mick. But he's had a meeting with John and is very excited about everything he's got planned for Mick." The insider continued: "It's a slightly different path for his character - there's going to be bother. It's all top secret but fans won't be disappointed, especially as Danny has signed for two years."
A rep for Danny since told MailOnline: "The deal is agreed - he is staying at EastEnders." Danny returned to play popular character Mick in May last year, after a six-week break away. He spent time in South Africa, after he suffered from "exhaustion" in February. At the time, a BBC spokesperson said that Danny was on a "short break" and that he had not quit the show, nor was the break enforced. "Danny is on a short break from EastEnders. This was not enforced by bosses, nor has he quit the show," the statement read. Danny joined EastEnders in 2013, and has become one of the soap's most popular stars. He has won two National Television Awards for serial drama performance for his role.
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