Danny Dyer takes major pay cut to leave EastEnders for Sky show – but is set to earn millions anyway

AFTER almost a decade playing pub landlord Mick Carter, Danny Dyer is leaving EastEnders – and taking a major pay cut to join Sky.

The 44-year-old star has quit his £1m-a-year contract with the BBC after being poached for an undisclosed six-figure sum by the rival channel.

But savvy Danny is set to earn millions regardless, by signing big money deals as he breaks free of his BBC contract.

The cockney actor's first gig after leaving Albert Square will be to work on a new drama for Sky.

But with more free time on his hands outside of the busy soap filming schedule, Danny has the opportunity to work on multiple projects and multiply his income.

A TV insider told The Sun: "When you're an actor and you've played a character for nearly ten years, of course you're going to want to go off and try new things.

"But you can't go off and do two shows at once.

"The audience figures and high-profile job at EastEnders is great for them, but if you want time off to go away and do other stuff you can't just up and leave with no notice.

"No drama gets filmed within six months, so that's why many big names end up going on a break from the soap.

"How many times has Jessie Wallace, Shane Richie and Steve McFadden said they're leaving, but have always come back.

"Sometimes it's not a bad thing for the characters if the actor wants some time off, it means they're rested and ready to return fresh with bigger storylines."

Danny's surprise exit announcement makes him the latest big name to leave the soap in the past 12 months.

He's following in the footsteps of Maisie Smith, Adam Woodyatt, Jake Wood and Laila Smith who have all left to pursue new opportunities outside of Albert Square.

Like with Danny, the stars all have the door left open for them to return in the future.

A source told The Sun yesterday: "Characters come and go. They have to for storyline purposes because it creates more drama within the soap. 

"It also gives actors the chance to focus on other projects before coming back fresh to play a key part once again.

"The timings of when characters leave and come back again is always a mix between when is best for the actor and the show itself.

"The door will always be open for Danny."

But his absence will leave big shoes to fill, with fears that an exodus within the cast could be sparked by his exit.

A spokesperson for the soap said of his departure: “Danny will be leaving EastEnders when his contract comes to an end later this year.

"Danny has made Mick Carter an iconic character which we shall always be grateful for.

"However we won’t be saying goodbye just yet as there’s still quite some time – and plenty of explosive drama for Mick – to come before he departs Walford."

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