Danny Dyer’s struggle as he faces ‘aggressive Aussie kangaroos’ on new TV show

He may be more comfortable in a boozer than by a billabong, butDanny Dyer’s latest role saw him heading into the Australian outback with giant spiders, killer snakes and some “quite aggressive” kangaroos. Danny, who is most famous asEastEnders’ landlordMick Carter, stars in new nail-biting Channel 5 drama Heat.

The series sees him play family man Steve Cameron, who has taken his family to a secluded home in the Bush for a summer vacation along with his best friend Brad (Darren McMullen) and his family. However, Steve is harbouring a big secret and as his lies start to unravel, an Australian bushfire strikes.

Filming took place in an Australian National Park, filled with aggressive and poisonous wildlife. Danny was relieved that help was at hand to ensure his safety during a filming experience that was “very different from EastEnders”.

“There was a guy on set who was literally to look for snakes,” he shares. “He was walking around the set and every morning there he gave a big speech about the sorts he’d found, saying, ‘Listen, if you see a snake, you must stand still, do not run.

"Because if it bites you, you’ll be dead in 15 minutes.’ I was like f**king hell, I’ve never dealt with this b*****ks before!”

Danny’s jungle jitters may not have been helped by the crew taking the proverbial on set. “When you’re from the UK, the Australians like to take the p*** out of you,” he laughs. “So they were saying ‘be careful of the drop bears’.

"Remember I’m jet lagged up and feeling a bit odd and a bit surreal anyway. I asked ‘ what do you mean?’ and they told me ‘they’re bears that fall out of trees they grab your face.’ I Googled drop bears and then I realised they were winding me up and there is no such thing. Yeah, they got me.”

During his time on location, Danny reveals that he found being far from home tough at first. “I did have moments that were quite lonely. I didn’t realise how much I’d miss my family… and I couldn’t buy Salad Cream,” he says.

But working in such a picturesque spot – even in the drizzle – brought some memorable moments too. Thankfully, these didn’t have such a dramatic effect on his blood pressure.

“I do feel I saw a little bit of the beauty of Australia. You know, the river that we went to the lake was so beautiful. It’s just a shame about the rain really.” Would he do it all again? “I think I’d like to go to Sydney- there are beaches and better weather and stuff. I’ll definitely work out there again. I’ll have another go trying to get some good weather, I spoke to a few of the cast and as I left the sun came out!”

One things Danny did love about filming Heat was the rehearsal time – a luxury after EastEnders’ fast pace. I had a week’s rehearsal and bonding with everybody else and I loved it,” says Danny. “At EastEnders we don’t really rehearse. We get our scripts at EastEnders, you turn up, read it once, you start shooting straight away and then bam you’re onto the next scene.”

Nine years in Albert Square has made Danny a better actor. “It is the hardest discipline you will ever do,” says Danny. “I don’t care who you are or how snobby you are towards soaps, there is nothing as difficult as trying to organically make a scene work when you are already in the scene.”

Heat starts with Danny’s character Steve feeling depressed and overwhelmed by the weight of the secret he’s carrying. Danny admits that after playing Mick’s depression on EastEnders, he found his opening scenes tricky.

“The piece starts and as Steve I’m depressed,” explains Danny. “I’m coming off the back of Mick being depressed and I’m trying to find a different face to pull. Steve has got the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s made a huge mistake and the reason that he’s taking his wife and his children to go and see his friends at this lodge in the middle of nowhere is to try and rebuild bridges so he can break this awful news he’s got to his wife and hopefully start repairing their relationship. Hopefully she can forgive him. But then when we get there all this mad s*** starts to happen.”

The show runs for four episodes and Danny promises viewers will never guess the ending. “I didn’t know where it was going,” admits Danny. “It’s such a brilliant story and the final episode is incredible. You can’t see it coming.”

Heat starts on Channel 5 at 9pm on Tuesday 11 July and runs nightly until Friday 14 July

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