EastEnders actor Danny Dyer has revealed that he formed a close contact "cohort" with co-stars Kellie Bright and Simone Lahbib for the upcoming New Year's episodes.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the soap has been filmed under strict social distancing guidelines, with cast and crew all maintaining a safe distance from each other and clever camera trickery being deployed to make it seem as if the characters are closer to each other than they actually are.
However, for the New Year storyline, which will see Dyer's Mick Carter contemplate suicide, the actor bubbled up with Bright (Linda Carter) and Lahbib (Katy Lewis) in order to enable close physical contact.
"I did that with Simone and also with Kellie separately," Dyer told The Mirror. "I think the big scene where Mick finally confronts Katy, it needed to be filmed that way so we could organically make it work, instead of the technicalities that come with filming socially distanced.
"It was important that we did those big scenes and we were able to really get in each other's faces. Mick really needs to express himself about what he's been going through. It's really interesting to see Katy's reaction she sort of gets off on it – it's like she likes Mick's pain which I think was really clever to show just how nasty the character is."
Talking about the storyline, he said: "Mick has been struggling for some time and has reached a point where he has lost all hope, he's confused and he's pushed everyone away so he really feels like he's completely alone in the world, so much so he feels that his only option is to end his own life.
"It's the turning point in that he finally understands what's going on and what happened to him when he was a child but he's still got a very, very long journey to go. It's certainly the beginning of the end, in terms of him accepting that he was abused and realising why he's been struggling for so long. Mick opening up to other people about it is really an important part of his journey too."
EastEnders airs New Year's Eve at 7.30pm, with an hour-long special following on New Year's Day at 8pm on BBC One.