Danny Dyer says he’s proud that his recent storyline in Eastenders has helped gay men to be open with their sexuality.

The actor’s character, Mick Carter, was seen embracing his son, Johnny, in a scene broadcast last month in which Johnny tells his dad that he’s gay.

“It was a real positive thing,” said Dyer on this weekend’s Jonathan Ross Show.

Speaking about the fan mail he has received since the scenes aired, the actor admits it has touched him.

“A lot of young gay men, who hadn’t come out yet, they saw that scene and I was getting letters from these guys saying they came out the next day because of it.

“That’s a powerful thing and I was really proud to be associated with that.”

Dyer thinks the storyline has gone a long way in changing how people see him, thanks to his character’s reaction.

He explained: “They spun it on the head for me, because obviously my perception and what people think I’m about – that I was going to react badly – and instead I just cuddled him and said, ‘Listen, it’s fine, I love you, no problem.’”

The 36-year-old, who plays the new landlord of the Queen Vic in Albert Square, used humour to hit back at homophobic Twitter trolls who mocked him for the storyline last month.

The Jonathan Ross Show airs on Saturday 1 February 2014.