Danny Dyer is taking a break from EastEnders but he has not quit the soap, the BBC has said.
Reports said the actor had been urged to take time off to “sort his life out” due to exhaustion, but a show spokesman denied this is the case.
A BBC statement to the Press Association said: “Danny is on a short break from EastEnders. This was not enforced by bosses, nor has he quit the show.”
The 39-year-old actor, who plays pub landlord Mick Carter in the BBC soap, joined the Walford-based soap in 2013 and proved a popular addition, having remained behind the bar at the Queen Victoria pub ever since.
He has won two National Television Awards for Serial Drama Performance for his role as family man Mick, opposite on-screen wife Linda Carter, played by Kellie Bright.
Prior to EastEnders, Dyer was best known for appearing in British films Mean Machine and The Football Factory, as well as fronting his own TV series, Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men.
The actor, known for his hard-man roles, recently made headlines when he discovered that he is descended from the likes of William the Conqueror, Edward III and Thomas Cromwell in an episode of the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?
Former EastEnders star John Partridge, who played Christian Clarke for four years until 2012, said Dyer was likely to be under a great deal of pressure while working on the soap due to the “relentless” schedule.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain : “I’m sure he’s under enormous pressure, but I’m sure he has a great response from people in the street. I only ever had – from the white van man to the 83-year-old gran – I only had a very positive response .
“But it is relentless, the schedule there can be relentless, and I should imagine if he has got any problems, or anything like that, to try and deal with life outside of that – when you’re there 12, 13, or 15, 16 hours a day sometimes – that can be difficult .”
Dyer has yet to comment on the news, which was first reported in the Sun.