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'Never say never...' Brian Conley won't rule out a return to EastEnders

Brian Conley won't rule out a return to EastEnders in the future credit:Bang Showbiz
Brian Conley won't rule out a return to EastEnders in the future credit:Bang Showbiz

Brian Conley won't rule out a return to 'EastEnders' in the future.

The 62-year-old comic played Tom ‘Rocky’ Cotton for two-and-a-half years before dramatically quitting the BBC One soap in 2023 over an alleged row over a ban on pantomime jobs for cast members.

Rocky departed Albert Square in dramatic after being shopped to the police by his own wife Kathy (Gillian Taylforth) for burning down the café in an insurance scam.

Despite the nature of his departure, Brian is potentially open to a return to Walford in the future.

Appearing on the 'Fuelling Around' podcast, he said: "Rocky, bless him, it was an insurance scam, he did set fire to the café, this icon café in Albert Square. Rocky done it for arson and, of course, eventually he was shopped and it was a big farewell at Christmas, which I really enjoyed.

“He’s in prison, I think he’s gone down for 10 years, so that’s a long time, but it could get out with good behaviour and all that. But it is open, so who knows? Never say never.”

Brian was delighted to have got to act in such a huge set piece scene in 'EastEnders', because the café was actually blown up.

Discussing the arson scenes, he added: “It was amazing, it took us a week to film it, because we didn’t just set fire to it, the gas went and the whole place blew up. Someone run in because they sort someone was in there and then my character was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s someone in there,’ cause I hadn’t told anyone so I ran in. There were fire engines, it was amazing.”

Brian made his name as a variety entertainer and comedian, achieving great success in the early 1990s with his ITV series 'The Brian Conley Show', before turning to acting.

The stand-up has nothing but respect for the 'EastEnders' cast who work so hard to ensure the four episodes broadcast each week are of the highest standard.

He said: “It really is a speeding train, it’s like a rollercoaster ride when you get on that. You’re always fighting against the clock, we’re doing four episodes a week, every week, that is a lot of content, so you’ve got to be on your game.

“It amazes me how some of the actors there look at it and go ‘yeah’. You should be on point on first take. You will get three gos at it, possibly.

“I did say it to Natalie Cassidy once, and that was right early days, I went, ‘How do you do this?’ She said, ‘Oh, it gets easier Brian.’ You know that short-term memory is like a muscle and the more you do it… I would say it took me two years to get to that point and some people are obviously a lot quicker.

“It amazes me the work that people do on that and the standard of acting and the level that it’s at in sometimes – and I am very aware – in a short amount of time is unbelievable.”