EastEnders' Brian Conley Sets The Record Straight On Exit 'Row' Reports

The actor has played Tom "Rocky" Cotton on the BBC soap for the last two years.
Brain Conley as EastEnders' Rocky Cotton
Brain Conley as EastEnders' Rocky Cotton
BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Brian Conley has spoken out to clarify rumours surrounding his forthcoming exit from EastEnders.

The actor is leaving his role as Tom “Rocky” Cotton after two years on the BBC soap, it was revealed this week.

However, in The Sun’s original article about Brian quitting the show, the tabloid reported that his decision came after a “row” with show bosses, who they claimed were now left having to change plans for storylines involving Rocky and a number of other characters.

In a video posted on Instagram on Tuesday evening, Brian insisted this was not the case.

Setting the record straight, he explained: “You may have heard reports that I’m leaving EastEnders. It was a tough decision but it is true, I am going and I made it for many reasons, that decision.

“It is tough because they’re such a wonderful crowd, in front of the cameras and behind the cameras and I’ve loved my three years there. So that’s the truth in the reports.”

He continued: “There’s other parts of reports saying that I clashed with TV bosses and the crew. I didn’t clash with anyone. I didn’t have a rant. But they’ll probably report on this now that I’m ranting about ranting! But I’m not ranting!”

He added: “I have gone with their blessings at the Beeb and I’m excited about the future and where it’s going to go. And I’m also excited about Rocky’s exit because I know it’s good. So I’m sending you much love – all EastEnders fans.”

An EastEnders spokesperson added: “We can confirm that Brian Conley will be leaving EastEnders.

“There is absolutely no truth in any claims of a feud with bosses and the show fully supports Brian in his decision to leave which was made some time ago. We wish him the best of luck for the future as we continue to work towards his exit storyline which has been in the works for some time.”

Brian with his on-screen wife Gillian Taylforth, who plays Kathy Beale
Brian with his on-screen wife Gillian Taylforth, who plays Kathy Beale
BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

It was previously unclear as to what Brian’s exit could mean for the Christmas “whodunnit?”.

The 25 December episode was teased in a flash-forward episode earlier this year and saw an as-yet-unidentified male killed on in the Queen Vic on Christmas Day, with one of six female Albert Square residents seemingly responsible for his murder.

The BBC had previously said of Brian’s exit: “There are many rumours and theories circulating about whose body is under the Christmas tree but, to not spoil the drama for the audience, we will not be commenting on any speculation.”

EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.


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