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Danny Hardcastle is a fictional character and recurring antagonist of the BBC British soap opera EastEnders. He appeared as a major antagonist in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

He is a notorious criminal leader who was formerly associated with crime kingpin Phil Mitchell up until they fell out due to Danny's connections for money laundering partly causing Phil to go under liquidation.

The character is portrayed currently by Paul Usher, who is known for as Barry Grant in Channel 4 soap: Brookside, and as corrupt cop and killer Des Taviner in ITV police drama: The Bill.


Danny Hardman grew up in Albert Square at Walford, a fictional borough in East London, as a notorious habitual offender. He soon became a criminal leader who formed his own gang to operate their illicit activities around the square.

At some point, Danny had associated himself with the square's local hardman and reigning criminal kingpin Phil Mitchell. They briefly had a partnership up until Danny's involvement for money laundering in Spain caused Phil to go into liquidation for a while. Over the years, the pair have become competitors in a gangland conflict between them. This soon involved Phil's son Ben Mitchell trying to spark a war between them in order to usurp his father, but this collapsed when both Phil and Danny realized what Ben was doing.

Later on, Danny sought to get rid of Phil and Ben after they attempted to steal from him in an armed robbery; though not before Danny apparently killed a person. Danny initially held the two at gunpoint and was prepared to kill them, but Ben and Phil escaped after overpowering Danny and his gang. They later stole the getaway money and fled from the scene as the police arrive to apprehend Danny. Months later, Danny was on the run and wanted to get revenge on the Mitchells. He also learned that Ben's boyfriend, Callum Highway, was a policeman and warned Phil about this; however, Phil ignored him and punched Danny before urging Callum to beat him up.

Afterwards, Danny fled the square and since then he has not been seen on the square.


  • He has made a total of 15 appearances during his time on the show.