In an off-the-cuff interview earlier this month, Dyer tore into the finalists competing for the role of Sykes’ lover Nancy on BBC competition I’d Do Anything. "I don't fancy any of those Nancys, they're all rubbish. It's more like 'I'll do anything to be on TV'." He also confessed to being terrified at the thought of having to sing on stage.
It’s not the first time that Dyer’s outspokenness has landed him in a spot of bother. Earlier this year, he launched a blistering attack on fellow British actors Orlando Bloom and James McAvoy. Rather than talent, said Dyer, they owe their success to, in Bloom’s case, a good name, and in McAvoy’s, to “a floppy hairdo” and “period dramas”. Subsequently, Dyer had to face McAvoy and fellow floppy-haired actor Dan Stevens at the Olivier Awards (See The Goss, 10 Mar 2008), where he was one of this year’s presenters. “I don’t usually get invited to things like this,” he said at the time. “I haven’t got a clue why.”
Other names so far mentioned in connection with the role of Bill Sikes include television presenter Nick Knowles.