EastEnders' Danny Dyer, and in a bubble is Mick Carter

Is Danny Dyer returning to EastEnders as Mick Carter? Everything he’s said about a comeback

Mick Carter disappeared at sea in 2022

Every now and then the rumour mill runs rife that Danny Dyer is returning to EastEnders.

Christmas Day 2023 marked the 10 year anniversary of Mick’s introduction to the soap. And fans were sure he would make a spectacular comeback.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, but now questions are being asked again as to whether Mick is on his way back to Walford.

So, what has Danny said about an EastEnders return? Will he be making a surprise comeback? Is Danny Dyer returning to EastEnders?

EastEnders' Mick is holding on to a cliff whilst looking worried
Mick went missing on Christmas Day 2022 (Credit: BBC)

How did Mick Carter leave EastEnders?

Danny Dyer starred as Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter for nine years from 25 December 2013 until 25 December 2022. He announced his departure in January 2022, but was on screen for the whole year prior to his exit.

Mick left the show after marrying Janine Butcher. His relationship with soulmate Linda Carter had broken down due to her alcoholism and Janine’s meddling.

After Janine fell pregnant Mick committed to her, despite his heart really lying with Linda. Janine however had set Linda up to take the fall for a car crash and when Mick found out he ended their brief union and went back to Linda.

Janine knew the police would be coming for her, so fled. Mick and Linda wanted to bring her to justice and followed her, but a dramatic crash saw the car go over the cliff in Dover and into the sea.

On Linda’s insistence Mick saved Janine and his unborn baby first and then went back for Linda, not knowing she was already safe on the shore. Mick disappeared and is presumed dead.

Fans are keen for a Mick return (Credit: BBC)

Is Danny Dyer returning to EastEnders?

As the show approached the anniversary of Mick’s disappearance last year there was a lot of dwelling on his character. Linda was struggling to cope with her first Christmas without him and after the return of her rapist Dean Wicks, hit the bottle again.

There was lots of talk of Mick and also close-ups of his photos on the wall in The Vic. All of this has led to speculation of a return for Danny Dyer to EastEnders.

With Linda involved in the huge storyline at Christmas as one of The Six women who killed one of The Seven men on Christmas Day, fans predicted Mick was somehow involved.

However, it turned out that although Linda was the killer, Keanu Taylor was the murder victim. Sadly there was no sign of Mick anywhere.

Danny Dyer crosses his arms as he poses on the red carpet at the BAFTA Television Awards
Danny has spread his wings since leaving the soap (Credit: Brett D. Cove/SplashNews.com)

Rumours Danny Dyer is returning to EastEnders

Back in December Danny caused a commotion when he announced on his Instagram he was “going back”, but it turned out he was talking about returning to another well-loved project The Football Factory. The sports drama is coming back to celebrate its 20th anniversary and Danny will reunite with director Nick Love to star in the film.

And, as on-set pictures were released of Danny filming new Sky comedy series Mr Bigstuff, some media outlets led fans to believe the role was back in EastEnders.

EastEnders' Danny Dyer is on the Jonathan Ross Show
Danny Dyer has previously opened up on his views of the soap (Credit: ITV)

So, what has Danny Dyer said about an EastEnders return?

After his EastEnders exit, Danny appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show and revealed his real reason for leaving EastEnders.

“It’s a very emotional thing, it’s such a big part of me,” he told the host.

“I tell you what it is, I’m lazy,” he continued. “It’s [bleeping] hard. Thirty pages you’ve got to learn a day. It’s like a film a week.”

Discussing Danny’s final scenes on the show, Jonathan pointed out that Mick’s body was never found.

Danny replied: “If it goes [bleep] up I can go back. I can turn up in three years’ time, walk in The Queen Vic smothered in seaweed…”

He continued: “They wanted to keep it open. I’m very privileged and grateful for that job. It really did change my career and my life.”

However he has also hit out at the soap since his departure. Speaking to The Sun, Danny revealed: “All I got for the past couple of years was, ‘You still in that EastEnders? I don’t watch it anymore.’ Constantly, that was the thing.”

He then added that he felt as though Mick had lost his sense of purpose in the soap, stating: “I didn’t quite know who I was playing anymore, it was an odd thing.”

He also acknowledged on Jonathan Ross that he ‘disliked’ a few of his castmates, though wouldn’t say who. However The Sun alleges that Phil Mitchell actor Steve McFadden disliked Danny as soon as he joined in 2013.

Danny Dyer quit EastEnders last year (Credit: BBC)
Is Mick Carter making a comeback? (Credit: BBC)

A ‘dot, dot, dot’…

Despite Danny’s unfavourable words about the soap, he definitely hasn’t ruled out a comeback completely. Speaking back in September 2023, he told Radio Times: “I don’t regret leaving, but it was really emotional for me.

“Mick’s exit felt like a real ‘full stop’, but maybe it was a ‘dot, dot, dot’.”

Could that ‘dot, dot, dot’ come to an end sooner rather than later? Many fans certainly hope so!

One even demanded his return for the 40th anniversary – which will fall in February 2025. They’ve come up with the perfect storyline too.

“EastEnders 40th Anniversary if I was producer,” they began before listing several storylines.

“Ronnie and Roxy’s resurrection. The Carters discover Babe has been holding Mick hostage. Babe’s brutal death. Stacey and Martin remarry. Ruby returns with Martin’s child.”

And one fan certainly agreed on the Mick storyline: “I’m sorry but Aunt Babe holding Mick hostage would literally be one of the most genius storylines EastEnders has ever done… plus she has form,” they wrote. 

Read more: Complete EastEnders cast list for 2023 right here!

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EastEnders usually airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

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Carena Crawford
Associate Editor (Soaps)