Danny Dyer stars in new intense drama 'Heat'

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Tuesday: Heat (Channel 5, 9pm)

There’s rather a lot of Australian interest around at the moment, what with the Women’s and Men’s Ashes cricket hogging the back pages and news bulletins.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy this intense four-part drama, set Down Under, and showing on consecutive nights.

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It’s the latest collaboration between Channel 5, Network 10 and Fremantle Australia, and follows British expats and best mates Steve and Brad, who live in different parts of Australia with their wives and families.

Hunter Hayden, Matteo Annetta, Danny Dyer, Pia Miranda, Darren McMullen, Jane Allsop, Matia Marks and Richie MorrisHunter Hayden, Matteo Annetta, Danny Dyer, Pia Miranda, Darren McMullen, Jane Allsop, Matia Marks and Richie Morris
Hunter Hayden, Matteo Annetta, Danny Dyer, Pia Miranda, Darren McMullen, Jane Allsop, Matia Marks and Richie Morris

Every year, they all get together for a summer holiday and this time around, Steve, Sarah and teenagers Mia and Tom are visiting Brad, Louise and son Kip at their gorgeous new home in the remote Victorian bush.

While the reunion is a warm one, various tensions bubble beneath the surface. Upon seeing the palatial property, Steve feels insecure. Tom is nursing an injury and Kip doesn’t believe his explanation for how it happened. Louise also senses Sarah is not quite herself. She’s right…

Behind closed doors, Mia thinks Steve is having an affair and Sarah is too weak to confront him. The two clans venture to the nearby river for a picnic, in celebration of Steve and Brad’s birthdays, and as the mercury rises, Brad recounts the story of how he and his bestie first met in their native UK.

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However, later, Steve breaks down and tells his friend the true nature of his duplicitous behaviour. There is more tension to come after Mia’s estranged boyfriend, Jet, arrives. Ever the nice guy, Brad invites him to at least stay the night, and while Mia is grateful, Steve isn’t happy.

The next morning, Jet decides to drive back to Sydney, leaving the families in peace, but Sarah is anything but relaxed: she is wracked with guilt and clearly harbouring a secret.

However, when Jet makes a surprise return, he tells them the road is closed due to bushfires. While there is no immediate danger, nobody is able to leave, whether they want to or not.

The top-drawer cast includes Darren McMullen, Jane Allsop, Pia Miranda, Olympia Valance and Richie Morris, and is headed by the one and only Danny Dyer as Steve.

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He famously described working on the drama, his first acting job since leaving EastEnders after almost a decade of playing Mick Carter, as part of the “grieving process” and dubbed it an “amazing piece of work”.

He told BBC Radio 2: “I felt I needed to throw myself into it, nine years into a job is a long time. It was an emotional thing for me so I just threw myself into something else”.

The star went on to joke about how he accepted the role of Steve for two reasons: the great script and the prospect of working in the Australian summer but, he explained, “it rained every single day”.

The weather may not have gone his way, but this drama is another chance for Dyer, who has wowed audiences on the London and New York stages, to prove there’s a lot more to him than hard men and thugs.

As Dyer himself says: “Let’s have it!”

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