So, what’s Christmas like chez Dyer?
It’s a very lazy day. I go to Mass on Christmas Eve because my missus is Catholic. So we’ll do Midnight Mass and it’s always nice to go in there a bit pissed, because you feel a bit guilty about it.
And what about the big day? I’m usually the first one up because I’m the most excitable.
I’ve always loved Christmas. [Laughs.] When I was younger,
I was always the one waking up and getting sent back to bed.
My younger brother, who still believed in F ather Christmas, would be snoring away I knew he didn’t exist and I was still trying to wake everyone up!
Do you have a Champagne breakfast?
I start the day with a jug of Bloody Mary a filthy one.
“Even two years down the line, I still get freaked out that I’m in East Endertfmissus have that, so we’re half putting something good in our bodies and we’re half just slowly getting pissed.
I canjust do boy’s stuff.
And then do you eat?
Yeah, we eat and then we just sit around the table picking at food for the rest of the day. I just sit there with my belly hanging out. Watching it swell by the second is a beautiful thing.
What’s the best and worst Christmas present you’ve ever received?
Best was a pogo stick, because I always wanted one in the ’80s. Then I got it when I was ten, and it became my worst, because I couldn’t do more than three jumps. It was shit. [Looks wistful.] It was a good pogo stick and all. What happened to it?
The thing is, I was getting the hump with it. I was throwing it around. I just couldn’t work out why on the adverts they could do 12 [jumps]. They were going to school on them, crossing the zebra crossing and I couldn’t even f***ing stand up on it! I really practised and everything. And I didn’t know I was getting it, either, because it was in a box.
You would know if it was wrapped as a pogo stick, wouldn’t you?
Do you thinkyou’re on Santa’s naughty or nice list this year?
I’m always 50/50 with being naughty and nice. I’ve done a couple of naughty things this year that I’m not proud of.
OK, I made one mistake and I want to hold my hands up:
I parked in a disabled parking bay for two minutes and a big thing was made out of it. Someone said I had made a woman on crutches hobble, which wasn’t true. It was highly embarrassing and I wasn’t proud of it. So that was quite naughty. I’m trying to make things right by doing stuff for charities. Well, it sounds like on the whole you’ve been good, so we’ve got you a present™
I haven’t got you all, though. What?
I’m joking, I’ve got you a present in the motor it’s big. Let’s see what your present is first…
OK, shut your eyes.
What’s in it?
It’s a secret, but little silver skin pickled onions are involved. They’re smashed up. I put port in it. Obviously, you’ve got to have celery salt in it and ground horseradish, too. Sounds fancy™
Oh yeah, I go for it, babe. I might forget presents, but I always remember the ingredients of the Bloody Mary. Me and the because that would be a tool I’d like to use for when my missus has got the hump and won’t cook me dinner. I can go, “Alright babe, I’m gonna go and make myself a nice filo pastry and you’re not going to have any of it. F ilo for one, my sweetheart.”
You’ve got a hard-man reputation, but you’re quite a softy. When was the last time you cried? [Thinks.] Cinderella done me.
I was with my daughter [Sunnie] and I was a little hungover and it was the glass slipper bit when she finally gets that f***ing slipper on and he finds her. That does me in, and I don’t know why because I know it’s coming.
What’s the plan going forward – do you want to be the new Ian Beale and stay in ’Enders forever?
No, there’s only one Ian Beale.
I think I’ve been blessed with a character that could run and run. I don’t want to have an affair, though, and I think ifyou stay in the show that long, it’s inevitable. Mick can’t cheat on Linda -that would be awful!
Well, how do you do 30 ye ars of storylines? How many wives has Ian Beale had? I mean, look at the man, he doesn’t deserve one f***ing wife! Listen, I love being in that show, I love running that pub, it’s my boozer, and I couldn’t bear anyone else running it. So in that respect, yes, I will be staying there for the next 60 stretch.
As you’re theofficial king of The Queen Vic, what’s your Christmas message to the nation?