Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright Join ‘EastEnders’

The Queen Vic – Under New Management, as a new family joins the square!

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Kellie Bright and Danny Dyer outside the Queen Victoria.

© BBC

Big changes are afoot at Eastenders, as the BBC announce Danny Dyer (Human Traffic, The Football Factory) and Kellie Bright (The Upper Hand, Ali G Indahouse) are to join the long-running soap this Christmas as the brother of Shirley Carter and his wife, becoming the first family to arrive and immediately take over The Queen Vic since EastEnders began.

Danny, whose first role at the age of 16 was in Prime Suspect 3, appears to have had a change of heart since he was last approached by the soap in 2009, when he got cold feet over the amount of press scrutiny it entailed, saying: “I quite liked the idea of it. But actually, in reality, I just got cold feet. Just from having a meeting it’s all over the newspapers and it gave me the horrors. Imagine if I went in it.”

Danny and Kellie’s characters are described as:

Mick (Dyer) is the baby of the Carter siblings. He has always adored older sister Shirley (Linda Henry) who brought him and sister Tina (Luisa Bradshaw-White) up when their mother walked out on them as children. But Mick and Shirley have been estranged for years due to animosity between Shirley and Mick’s wife, Linda.

Mick loves his missus, his kids, his dog, the monarchy, a bit of Land of Hope and Glory. He’s a bloke’s bloke who, having spent most of his life surrounded by women, is actually a big softie. He thinks nothing of throwing on Linda’s pink dressing gown and cooking breakfast for the family in the morning before getting the beer barrels ready downstairs.

Linda (Bright) is the love of Mick’s life and they have been together since they were teenagers. Linda has been a barmaid for most of her life – but above everything, sees herself as a mum.  She’s the first to admit she wasn’t blessed with brains but her fluffy candyfloss exterior belies an inner steel. A lioness who will fight tooth and nail for her brood, Linda can take this to extremes – and she can be more smother than mother.

Executive Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said “I’m so excited to have actors of Danny and Kellie’s calibre joining what is an already strong and talented company of actors. Having been together over twenty years, Mick and Linda have a good marriage and an easy shorthand with each other – but can also still fight like teenagers. They will laugh, cry, argue and make-up… Much to the embarrassment of their children and the delight of Albert Square’s residents. Mick and Linda still love each other, no matter what life throws at them. And moving from Watford to Walford, life’s about to throw them a few curve balls…”

Speaking of joining EastEnders Danny said “I’m so excited about starting a new chapter in my career and I cannot wait to become part of the East End family.”

Kellie added “I’m very excited about joining the show. Not only am I looking forward to working with Danny but becoming Landlady of The Vic is a real honour.”

Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright will start filming at EastEnders at the end of October and they will appear on-screen at the end of the year.