Actor Danny Dyer is to join EastEnders as the new landlord of the Queen Vic.
The actor, who is better known for his “hard man” roles, will play Mick Carter, brother to character Shirley Carter (Linda Henry).
Dyer’s new character Mike is described a “bloke’s bloke” who also has a soft heart. He will be joined behind the bar in the Queen Vic by his wife Linda, played by Kellie Bright. The two are due to take over management of the pub in time for Christmas.
According to the BBC, Mike “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”.
Dyer, who turned down the chance to appear in the soap in 2009, 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.”
Born in Canning Tow in 1977, Dyer is a real-life East End boy. As a teenager, he was talent spotted by an agent who put him forward for a role alongside Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect 3.
He won acclaim for his role as conflicted football hooligan Tommy Johnson in 2004 film The Football Factory, but has been mocked for appearing in low-budget movies including Pimp and Run for Your Wife.
The Independent’s Anthony Quinn described 2012’s Run for Your Wife as a “catastrophe”, saying: “Perhaps never in the field of light entertainment have so many actors sacrificed so much dignity in the cause of so few jokes.”
Dyer had previously been in talks to star in the long-running BBC soap in 2009, but said he could not handle the glare of publicity.
He said at the time: “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 have me the horrors. Imagine if I went in.”
The actor was subsequently involved in a furore over an advice column he contributed to lads' magazine Zoo in which a reader was told to cut his ex-girlfriend's face to help him get over their split.
The column was dropped by the magazine but Dyer maintained that he was misquoted when the column was dictated to a journalist.