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Brian Conley explains reason for EastEnders exit

Brian Conley explains reason for EastEnders exit
© BBC
Brian Conley says that he quit his role as Rocky Cotton on EastEnders as it restricted his ability to do other work.

Brian Conley has revealed that he quit EastEnders last year because it restricted his ability to do other work.

The entertainer joined the BBC soap in 2021 as 'Rocky' Cotton - half-brother of the infamous villain Nick Cotton (John Altman) - and after a bumpy start, in which he pretended to be the long-lost dad of Sonia (Natalie Cassidy), he settled into life in the Square.

Rocky's defining relationship in Walford was with Kathy (Gillian Taylforth), whom he married, but things fell apart last Christmas when he admitted to her that he had set fire to her café for the insurance money - and he was sent to prison after she shopped him to the police.

Before joining EastEnders, Conley had spent many decades performing comedy routines, stage shows, pantos and singing gigs - but after two-and-a-half years on the soap he realised that his extra-curricular activities were severely limited.

"I left because you're not allowed to do anything else," he told Good Morning Britain. "Although I've now found out you can but at the time they said 'you can't do anything' and I'm a live performer.

"I love being live, I love getting out there. Musicals, my own show, which I'm currently doing, and so for me I felt very restricted with those."

Asked if Rocky could get an early prison release in future, he replied: "He might do, or you know, or I can make an escape! You just don't know about these things, but it is an amazing show."

Conley is currently on the road with his "third farewell tour", which promises "an evening of comedy, music and entertainment".

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Kathy and Rocky on EastEnders on October 17, 2023
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