EastEnders star Danny Dyer wasn't happy with his daughter's decision to take part in the Love Island but now the show is nearly over, her mum Jo admits that the whole family have loved every moment of the experience. Talking exclusively to HELLO!, Dani's proud mum gushed: "Our little girl hasn't put a foot wrong in our eyes."
And whilst many were surprised that she chose to participate in the dating show and put her acting career to one side, 41-year-old Jo explains that Dani was "born to entertain" - revealing that her first big stage moment took place when she was just five years old, when she joined popular children's character Barney the Dinosaur on stage in Florida for a ten-minute singalong!
Dani Dyer posing at a young age
"She wanted to be in Barney... when I took her to Florida at five years old, I took her to the Barney show and she said if she had one wish it would be to be on stage with Barney. So I took her to the front and when security wasn't looking I threw her (gently) on stage.
"Dani was on stage for 10 minutes with Barney the dinosaur singing and dancing. That's our favourite memory [of her]".
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There's now just days to go until Love Island's big live finale, and Dani is tipped to win the show alongside her boyfriend Jack Fincham. With many reports suggesting that the show is staged, Jo is quick to explain that "the Dani I'm seeing is my girl that I only know. She didn't swap her cases for a boarding pass and a personality transplant. She is very honest and kind and I'm still seeing she is so not a morning person," she jokes.
Dani with her mum Jo, who she is very close to
"Dani was really cute as a child, she was my easiest child in all honesty," she says. "She was very affectionate and loved cuddles. She just sang and danced. Dani does that now, you might be talking to her and she will break out in a song relevant to what you're talking about."
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Jo and Danny Dyer had their first child at a very young age, they were both only 19 years old, and have always had a very close relationship. "She is a mummy's girl to be honest. She adores Danny and they are so close, but Dani and I have a different relationship," she reveals.
A very young Danny Dyer with Dani in Trafalgar Square
"I am the one that she comes to if anything needs to be done for her, whether it's to listen to a problem, cover up a date...be a taxi… And her friends like to hang out at our house a lot so when I'm making food they always involve me in their girly chats. If I go out Dani likes to do my hair and makeup."
If Dani has demonstrated anything on the reality TV show it's that she is the perfect agony aunt, something that has impressed Jo but hasn't necessarily come as a surprise, as she has experienced her good advice in the past. "Dani is such a great agony aunt. I'm impressed with her advice on the housemates so far. She is a great listener in the house. She isn't very judgemental but knows the difference between right and wrong.
The Love Island star is also very close to her actor dad
"She advises if she has been asked for advice but she is a fantastic listener. Sometimes if we want a private chat we sit in my bathroom and say 'let's have a sleepover in the bed'. I miss our bathroom chats," the mum-of-three says.
And if Jo could advise her daughter about which boy to couple up with on the island, she is certain she would have chosen Jack all along. "Jack seems like a good kid, I hope it lasts," she says of the salesman.
Although there have been endless rumours that Danny is set to fly to Spain to visit Dani inside the villa, Jo says that the only plan they have for the final is "to watch it assuming Dani is in the final."
Jack and Dani are favourites to win the show
"Dani has already won in our eyes," she explains. "She has behaved beautifully and I’m sure this has opened up many opportunities for her. A boyfriend is just an added bonus."
Proud mum Jo says Dani has always lived in "a fairytale bubble," so is her wish about to come true?