Who are the EastEnders’ Carter family? All you need to know about Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright in real life

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EastEnders is home to the Carter family who have been causing chaos on the BBC soap since 2013, living in the pub Queen Vic.

Mick Carter played by Danny Dyer; his wife Linda Carter played by Kellie Bright; his mother Shirley Carter who is portrayed by Linda Henry; and her sister Tina Carter played by Luisa Bradshaw White, are the main characters.

Not forgetting Aunt Babe played by Annette Badland and the landlord's children Lee Carter, played by Danny-Boy Hatchard and the departed Nancy Carter who used to be played by actress Maddy Hill.

But who are the faces behind the soap stars? Let's take a look at the real life Carter family…

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Mick Carter aka Danny Dyer

The head of the Carter family Mick has certainly been in the thick of things during his time on EastEnders.

Storylines include discovering his sister Shirley is in fact his mother, his wife Linda's rape at the hand of his brother Dean Wicks, becoming a dad to little Ollie, ongoing financial issues as well as falling for his daughter-in-law Whitney.

Mick is currently struggling in Walford after it was revealed he'd lost his pub the Queen Vic to Sharon Watts, aka Letitia Dean.


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Away from the BBC soap Danny Dyer has a happy family life, living with his long-term love Joanne Mas, who he married in 2016, and sharing their children Love Island star Dani Dyer, 24, Sunnie, 13, and Arty, six.

The 43 year old soon-to-be grandfather, who kickstarted his career in movies like Mean Machine and The Football Factory, has also appeared in Casualty and Hollyoaks Later before finally joining EastEnders.

Linda Carter aka Kellie Bright

Kellie Bright is better known for playing soap character Linda Carter on EastEnders since 2013, but away from Walford the talented actress enjoys an idyllic home life.

The 44 year old actress married her long-term love Paul Stocker, 36, in 2014 and the pair have two sons together, Freddy and Gene.


The actress admitted that their seven year age gap caused the pair to briefly split – before they tied the knot in 2014.

Kellie gave birth to her first son Freddy in in December 2011, and her second son Gene arrived in November 2016.

As well as her role on EastEnders, Kellie has also starred on Strictly Come Dancing, played 'Me Julie' in Ali G and almost gave birth in a car with her second child Gene.

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Shirley Carter aka Linda Henry

Shirley has been embroiled in some turbulent storylines over the years, including her best friend Heather Trott being murdered by then-boyfriend Phil Mitchell’s son Ben.

The character has a complicated family life, with her son Mick Carter – played by Danny Dyer – originally thought to be her brother, while her two other children, Deano and Carly, no longer live in Albert Square.

However, Linda's life away from the soap is vastly different, as the actress, who appeared in Bad Girls, is happily married with her long-term partner Stavros Virillis and they have one child Ellie, who they welcomed in 1993.

Linda is notoriously private about her personal life but appears on EastEnders: Secrets from the Square in a rare interview about her longtime role as Shirley.

The 57 year old, who is known for portraying the tough character, couldn't hold back the tears as she discussed missing her two year old grandson because of lockdown.

Tina Carter aka Luisa Bradshaw-White

Luisa Bradshaw-White has played Tina Carter in hit BBC soap EastEnders since she joined the soap in 2013.

She took on the role as Mick Carter's aunt starring alongside Danny Dyer and Linda Henry who plays Shirley Carter – her onscreen sister.

The actress has been on the soap for five years now and recently revealed that the role was made especially for her.

Happily married to her wife professional singer Annette Yeo, they have been together for over 20 years and got married in 2015. They share two children.

Just like her EastEnders co-star Linda Henry, Luisa starred on prison drama Bad Girls , although their characters didn't cross paths they also join Kellie Bright (who now plays Linda Carter) who starred in the show too.

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Whitney Dean now Carter aka Shona McGarty

Shona McGarty has made an impact playing Whitney Dean on EastEnders ever since she arrived in 2008.

The actress has been involved in some tough storylines over the past 12 years from dealing with sexual abuse, her fractured family life and her failed relationships not to mention falling in love with Danny Dyer's character and her onscreen father-in-law Mick Carter.

Most recently Whitney was groomed, and stalked, eventually killing her stalker Leo, and ending up in prison where she went on a hunger strike while awaiting her murder trial.


Shona has been playing Whitney Dean, who is now married to Mick's son Lee Carter since 2008, and is currently awaiting her murder trial in scenes that have been airing throughout lockdown.

The actress, who started her career in musical theatre, went on to join the BBC cast and was nominated for Best Newcomer at the British Soap Awards within a year. She has previously been suspended from the soap back in 2012 when she constantly turning up late for filming.

Lee Carter aka Danny-Boy Hatchard

Danny-Boy Hatchard joined EastEnders in 2014 as Mick and Linda Carter's son Lee Carter.

He recently returned to the soap after three years away for a brief stint following the breakdown of his marriage to Whitney in 2016.


Viewers saw Lee unsuccessfully try to kill himself, organise a brutal raid on his own family home and hit his wife Whitney.

After the actor, 28, left the soap, Danny-Boy joined Our Girl for the last ever series as Private Rhett "Throbber" Charlton, starring alongside Michelle Keegan.

Since the coronavirus pandemic Danny-Boy, who lives with his beloved French bulldog, expressed his thoughts on not being able to work due to the restrictions, but after travel measures lifted was able to jet off on holiday to Milan and Cyprus for a break.

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