Danny Dyer credits Harold Pinter for helping him stay proud of his ‘working-class roots’

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Danny Dyer has credited late playwright Harold Pinter for helping him stay proud of his ‘working-class roots’.

The EastEnders actor, 43, from Newham opened up on the impact the legendary screenwriter had on his life and how he was something of a father figure for him, 12 years after his death.

In promotion of Sky Arts’ special documentary Danny Dyer on Harold Pinter, the soap star said in a press release: ‘Harold never wanted me to change or hide my working-class roots, even though he did when he was younger.’ 

'He never wanted me to change': Danny Dyer has credited late playwright Harold Pinter for helping him stay proud of his 'working-class roots'

‘He never wanted me to change’: Danny Dyer has credited late playwright Harold Pinter for helping him stay proud of his ‘working-class roots’

Sharing what he had instilled in him as a performer, the thespian added: ‘It was the notion of not letting where you come from define where you’re going… Harold had given me the confidence that a lot of people had knocked out of me.

‘When I was in a room of middle-upper-class people, I felt that it was OK just to be me and Harold installed that in me.’

The Hackney-born director – who is widely recognised as one of the most influential British dramatists of all time – worked with Danny in stage performances such as Celebration (2000) and the revival of No Man’s Land (1975) between 2001 and 2002. 

'He gave my confidence': The EastEnders actor, 43, from Newham opened up on the impact the legendary screenwriter had on his life, 12 years after his death (pictured in 2000)

‘He gave my confidence’: The EastEnders actor, 43, from Newham opened up on the impact the legendary screenwriter had on his life, 12 years after his death (pictured in 2000)

'I think he respected me': The hardman also recalled when they met at an audition for their first collaboration 21 years ago

‘I think he respected me’: The hardman also recalled when they met at an audition for their first collaboration 21 years ago

The hardman also recalled when they met at an audition for their first collaboration 21 years ago.

He admitted: ‘I walked in the audition room and, me being like I am and not really treating people any differently, I just walked in and went up to Harold and said, ”Hello son. How you doing?” I felt the whole room just go, ”Ooh, oh dear.”’

However, Danny insisted his relaxed introduction endeared him to Harold, who cast him in the production.

Upcoming documentary: Danny Dyer on Harold Pinter airs on Tuesday at 9pm on Sky Arts and NOW TV, as part Sky Arts move to free to air

Upcoming documentary: Danny Dyer on Harold Pinter airs on Tuesday at 9pm on Sky Arts and NOW TV, as part Sky Arts move to free to air

The media personality explained: ‘[I don’t think] anyone’s approached him that way and I think he sort of respected that.’   

Nobel Prize winner and barbed political activist Harold passed away on Christmas Eve 2008 aged 78 following a battle with cancer. 

His influential plays, including The Caretaker in 1960 and The Homecoming in 1965, were regarded as among the finest of the past 50 years and enjoyed a renaissance as audiences tapped into his dark studies of tedious lives balancing on the edge of chaos.

The theatre executive was also a vociferous critic of US and UK foreign policy, voicing opposition on a number of issues including the bombing of Afghanistan in 2001. 

Danny Dyer on Harold Pinter airs on Tuesday at 9pm on Sky Arts and NOW TV, as part Sky Arts move to free to air.

Tragic: Nobel Prize winner and barbed political activist Harold passed away on Christmas Eve 2008 aged 78 following a battle with cancer (pictured in 2000)

Tragic: Nobel Prize winner and barbed political activist Harold passed away on Christmas Eve 2008 aged 78 following a battle with cancer (pictured in 2000)

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