EASTENDERS star Danny Dyer feared he would die if he didn’t get help when his life was on the brink five years ago.
The 45-year-old went to show bosses and told them he desperately needed to take time out after his relationship with wife Joanne More hit the rocks in 2017.
In a staggering interview, he admitted he had spent years being “ac*** to her” and was taking so many drugs he had to make the desperate cry for help to producers of the BBC soap.
Danny said: “I turned around to the bosses of EastEnders and I said, ‘Listen, I’ve gotta go somewhere. I’m going to die.
“They were like, ‘Oh, OK. Uh, right’. And so I sorted it myself and I paid for it myself.”
He added: “Fame never suited me. I was always f***ing gonna be going down the wrong path. So I lost the plot for many years and I was af***ing lunatic.
“I became a sort of a cartoon character. 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***ing drugs. I was searching for something. There was a hole in me and I couldn’t work out what the f*** it was.”
Danny and Jo met as kids, growing up on the same council estate in East London, and had daughter Dani26, when he was just 18.
The couple went on to have daughter Sunnie, 15, and son Arty, eight.
They tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in September 2016 after Jo, 45, proposed to him on Valentine’s Day in 2015.
But just a few months later the pair had split up, and Danny moved into a bachelor pad close to the family home.
‘Man, I was weak’
He said: “I knew I had to f***ing sort myself out because I’d been — sorry about me language — I’d been ac*** 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***ing 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***ing, you know, whatever. And I quite like playing it, but you know, the amount of f***ing Diazepam (an anti-anxiety drug) I was on at the time, I was just munching.”
He added on Jaime Winstone’s new podcast, Greatest Night Ever that he had a moment of realization when he knew he could lose his childhood sweetheart — and his family.
He said: “OK, this is it, you’re gonna lose all this. You’re gonna be a shadow of the man that you are, you’re gonna f*** 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***ing drag me ass over the line.
“I didn’t want fresh linen. 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 recognized 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***ing ego.”
By the time Danny joined EastEnders in 2013 he had already gained some fame through a series of movies in the Nineties and Noughties.
But after arriving in Albert Square he became a household name and his life of fame and fortune saw him at the center of a whirlwind — with all the temptations which he brought with it.
Danny said: “I slowly had to realize how to quiet that f***er 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.”
“And at first, f***ing five minutes is f***ing work. And then, all of a sudden, you go into this mad f***ing place and it brings out this s**t. Right?
“So the first time I did it, I sobbed me f***ing 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 conversation with Jaime, 37, who starred as Albert Square legend Peggy Mitchell in the soap’s flashback episode on Monday night, he credits wife Jo for saving him.
He feels his wedding day was the greatest day of his life, as it made him realize everything he had to lose.
Danny said: “This bird, I never know where I stand with her, still. So there’s no gray 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***ed off when I was young. I love me old man, by the way.”
Danny was taking Diazepam as he battled his demons, but he insists he didn’t take them on his wedding day.
He said: “I didn’t need any that day. 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***, man, like this f***ing woman’.
“She’s just so incredible. And so I can’t lose her. I can’t f*** it up. I can’t f*** it up. Do you know what I mean?
“And Dani looked amazing. She was like the maid of honour, she looked f***ing 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’.”
Danny claimed he had lost sight of the person he was, and became too concerned with being the person others saw him as through watching his geezer soap character or hard-man from the movies.
He went on: “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.”
Danny is set to leave his role as Albert Square’s Mick Carter this year.
He added: “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.”
- Jaime Winstone’s new podcast, The Greatest Night Ever, part of the Acast Creator Network, is available wherever you get your podcasts.