EastEnders’ star Danny Dyer tells Soaplife that Mick has a magic moment with his family before his world comes crashing down with the revelation that Dean raped Linda…

Why does Mick feel now is the time to propose to Linda (Kellie Bright)?

“There’s a beautiful speech with Shirley [Linda Henry], where Mick says one of the three things he’s always wanted for Christmas is for his mum to come home and 34 years later that’s finally happened. Mick feels his life is almost complete and the only thing that will complete it will be to marry the love of his life. He should have done it years ago. It’s the right time, but also completely the wrong time.”

How did you react when you found out what was going to happen at Christmas?

“Oh wow! I got the Christmas episodes! I was always excited about them because I knew that was when Mick would find out, but I didn’t know how or what would happen. A lot of the episodes are about Mick and how he learns about the truth and deals with it. It’s a lot to take on board, but it’s so well written and so believable the way Mick reacts and I think any man would react the same, any human being would react the same.”

How do you think the audience will react ?

“They’re dying for it to come out because what Dean has done is horrific and he can’t get away for it. He’s already got away with it for far too long and deserves to be arrested. I’m sure the audience are thinking the same thing. How dare he walk around and go in that pub knowing what he’s done to that poor woman. He acts like nothing’s happened which is apparently what some rapists do, they’re in denial themselves. I think Matt [Di Angelo] has been playing it right and to stretch it out for three months has been tough.”

How’s Mick coping with Stan (Timothy West) being terminally ill?

“He’s taken it badly. He finally has his family back around him and then it all starts to fall apart.”

What’s Mick’s relationship like with Sylvie (Linda Marlowe)?

“He’s always had an image of her, but he’s never really met her. He doesn’t know who she is, but knows she abandoned him. But it’s still hard for him to be angry at her. He doesn’t worry about the past, he just wants to make up for lost time.”

You’ve been on screen for nearly a year now…What have been your highlights?

“Probably this Christmas. It’s been a chance for me to show my range as an actor.”

EastEnders, BBC1. Click here for dates and times.