Pink Heart Society editor Ali Williams is swooning over actor Danny Dyer for today's Male on Monday column...
Over the last week, the UK has been buzzing about the 30th anniversary of EastEnders, the long-running BBC soap.
The week's seen episodes being filmed and sent out live, in which we've seen: people taken away in police cars; a baby born on the floor of the Queen Vic's toilets; a death in the Queen Vic's cellar (yeah, as pubs go, the Queen Vic definitely has its ups and downs); and a number of small, but entertaining slip-ups.
So this week, I'm talking about the man who plays Mick Carter, the landlord of Queen Vic: Danny Dyer.
As Mick Carter in EastEnders, he's shown diversity and skill - inverting the architypical east end "hardman" into someone quite different.
His character is fiercely loyal, unafraid to walk around in his wife's pink dressing gown on occasion, and Dyer's performance made critics sit up when his character's son came out to him as gay.
As a character, Mick Carter embodies many traits of a romance hero. He absolutely worships his wife, his life falling apart recently, when he discovered that she's been hurt by a member of their own family, and he's a family man through and through.
And even though he had a traumatic childhood, he works to overcome it with Linda's help, and the help of his family.
Dyer's role on EastEnders inverts some of the roles that he's played over the years, including in The Football Factory and The Business; in those films, characterised by violence and danger, the "hardman" has less to redeem him, even if Dyer's acting means that we find ourselves aligning ourselves with them.
His latest film role (a very funny cameo in The Hooligan Factory aside) is in Vendetta as special ops interrogation officer Jimmy Vickers, who's seeking brutal vengeance for the death of his parents.
Commercially successful, Rob James argues that it can be seen "as a Brit answer to '70s and '80s exploitation flicks, endless Seagal movies and First Blood."
But despite most of his filmic roles, Danny Dyer's acting ability isn't limited to shooting guns and running pubs.
He's got plenty of experience on the stage, acting in three plays by Harold Pinter, two of which were directed by the Nobel Laureate himself, as well as taking on the role of Sid Vicious in Roy Smiles' Kurt & Sid.
Do you have a favourite soap star who you think would make a good romantic hero? Do you think that "hardmen" with a heart make for a perfect romantic hero? Join the discussion in the comments!
Ali Williams grew up in Croydon and spent her teenage years in a convent girls' school. She then fled to university where she discovered champagne cocktails, a capella singing and erotica.
These days she blogs about perceptions of romance, chick lit and women in society and spends an extraordinary amount of time coercing male friends to pose with her favourite Mills & Boon books to the bemusement of the Twittersphere.