The Dyer family

Exclusive pics: Inside 'softie' Danny Dyer's life as a hands-on dad to Love Island star Dani

Danny Dyer and Jo Mas were teenagers when they welcomed their first daughter together

Emmy Griffiths,

Danny Dyer has opened up about his eldest daughter, Dani Dyer, who has been a fan favourite in the popular ITV2 show, Love Island, since the show started back in June. In a previous photoshoot with HELLO!, the EastEnders actor spoke about being a dad to three children, Dani, Sunnie and Arty, and how he was still a "baby" when he and Jo welcomed their eldest daughter at just 18 years old. Danny, who was a teenager when he became a father for the first time, explained: "I was a baby when I had Dani – I couldn't even shave. So me and my eldest daughter have grown up together. We are very close and she can tell me anything."

Danny opened up about his eldest daughter

The proud dad, who recently chatted to Dani and her new boyfriend, Jack, via video chat in the Love Island villa, continued: "We have a son in every aspect of the word – he is a climber, a smasher, he loves his grubs and loves a tantrum, but I am so proud of him and all of them. I am dealing with all stages of parenthood at once. I have Dani challenging me on an adult level, Sunnie dealing with middle-child syndrome and a two-year-old running around wanting to whack his head on walls and smash the television. Me and Jo are hands on in the true sense of the word. We don't palm them off on nannies – we are not believers in all that."

VIDEO: Jack and Dani’s Love Island journey: their funniest and sweetest moments

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Jo admitted that her husband was a "softie" in real life, and has always struggled to discipline their three children. "I am a hands-on dad," Danny said. "I have changed every nappy, I will get up and do night feeds, I read stories to them, I will sing stupid songs to them when they are in bed. I play with them. But I am not a very good disciplinarian… When I do try to put my foot down they laugh at me. But Jo is very good at the discipline side of things. I can go off and do the glitzy stuff and get all the glory but Jo is there keeping everything sweet. Without Jo I am nothing."

Danny with his wife Jo and three children

According to the 41-year-old, his own dad couldn't be more different to him. "My dad was from a different generation," he said. "Mums did everything and dads went to work and came home drunk. That was the way it was. I am more like my character in that respect. I want to give my children everything that I didn't have." During the interview, Dani also spoke about their parents finally tying the knot back in 2016, saying: "I think it is about time. But because they have been together for so long it is like they are married in any case. There is nothing left to prove. I am really happy they are getting married."

READ: Dani Dyer explains why her dad didn't come into Love Island villa

Dani is a contestant in Love Island

Things weren't always smooth sailing with his three children, as Arty was born one month early via emergency C-section, and just days before the actor began his life-changing role on EastEnders as the Queen Vic's new landlord, Mick Carter. Speaking about the difficult time, Danny explained: "There was a moment where it seemed a real possibility that something could go very wrong. I had started in EastEnders just three days before. I knew this job had saved us because, financially, we were not in a good place. I went in and hit the ground running but inside I was dying. All I could think of was my little boy lying in his little incubator."

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