The actor, known to soap fans as Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter, also insisted reports heâ€™d quit the BBC soap to sign a Â£1 million deal with Sky were â€œnot true at allâ€.
It was announced over the weekend that Danny would be leaving EastEnders after more than eight years on Albert Square, in a move that came as a shock to fans.
Breaking his silence on his exit, Danny told his daughter Dani on their Sorted With The Dyers podcast he has quit in search of his â€œdefining roleâ€.
He said: â€œThe big news is Iâ€™ve decided not to renew my contract. Thatâ€™s all.
â€œThatâ€™s not because Iâ€™ve fallen out with anybody, I love everybody. That job has been amazing for me. Itâ€™s an important part of television.
â€œIâ€™m grateful for the beautiful years Iâ€™ve had there. Iâ€™m going to miss the people massively.â€
Danny continued: â€œItâ€™s me taking a risk. Thereâ€™s no big story around it, really. Other than the fact Iâ€™ve decided to go off and try some other stuff. Iâ€™m 44 now, and Iâ€™ve had nine years of playing Mick and I think he needs to be rested.
â€œIâ€™m still looking for that defining role. Maybe it is there, maybe it isnâ€™t. But Iâ€™ve always been quite ambitious and I had quite a long career before I went into EastEnders.
â€œI know the landscape has changed slightly but I want to go out there and have another go, and the only way I can do that is if I decide to walk away from the job.
â€œI just wanted to put my little version out there. It is true. It does give me a weird feeling to think Iâ€™m walking away from a job thatâ€™s been a massive part of my life. But it had to be done, and it was definitely the right time.â€
Danny did not rule out returning to EastEnders in the future, and said he is hoping Mick would not be killed off when he leaves Walford later this year.
However, he did promise his exit would be a â€œvery, very powerful thingâ€.
â€œI would love the door to be left open, and as far as I know it is,â€ he said. â€œSo who knows. When I go out there and I fail miserably I can come back with my tail between my legs and go, â€˜Will you take me back?â€™.
â€œBut I just want to send out some love to everyone at EastEnders. I love you all very much.
â€œItâ€™ll be a sad year for me, but Iâ€™m also very excited about it. So weâ€™re going to attack this year, and weâ€™re going to make this year a fucking special one.â€
Danny joined EastEnders in 2013 when the Carter family were introduced as the new owners of the Queen Victoria pub.
During his time on Albert Square, Dannyâ€™s character Mick has been central to a number of huge storylines, including his discovery that sister Shirley was actually his mother, his wife Lindaâ€™s rape at the hands of his brother Dean and the more recent plot which saw Mick open up about being abused as a child in the care system.