Danny Dyer: I was the victim of homophobic bullying despite being straight

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Danny Dyer has opened up about being the victim of homophobic bullying – despite being straight.

The EastEnders star, who plays hardman Mick Carter on the BBC soap, opened up about his torment in autobiography The World According To Danny Dyer: Life Lessons from the East End.

He wrote: “You didn’t need to be gay to suffer from homophobia and just because you were gay didn’t mean that you would.

“I actually suffered from homophobia , despite not being gay… to my mates, and some who weren’t quite as matey, being an actor is exactly the same as being homosexual.

“There is no difference between the two. The bullying I got was sometimes horrible. I got ‘actress’ and ‘poofter’ and all the rest of it.

“It got so bad that I stopped telling people anything I was doing and used to sneak off to the acting and slide on back over the maisonettes smoking weed before anyone could even tell. It was like living two lives.

“I’m not saying it made my life hell, just difficult.”

He hailed progress on the issue, writing: “Too often when people look at the present, they start whining on about how much better it used to be years ago.

“Let’s be fair – people of my dad’s and granddad’s generation were pretty intolerant. Some people won’t see that as a bad thing, but I do.

“Homophobia and racism are the modern terms, though if you’d mentioned homophobia to my dad he’d have thought it was an album by The Who.

“From the outside my dad might have looked homophobic but I don’t think it ever crossed his mind there was a problem with that.”

The actor was previously at the centre of a gay storyline on the soap last year – when his son Johnny Carter (Sam Strike) came out to him.