EastEnders CONFIRM Brian Conley is leaving the soap as he denies claims of a clash with BBC bosses over abrupt exit: ‘I have gone with their blessing’
EastEnders have confirmed that Brian Conley is leaving the soap after three years.
The actor, 62, has played Thomas ‘Rocky’ Cotton since May 2021 but is now moving on to new projects.
The BBC told in a statement on Wednesday that they supported his decision and denied claims of a feud and that he had demanded to be written out of the show.
Brian also took to his Instagram grid to confirm the news and further refuted claims there had been disagreements.
The Sun had claimed on Tuesday night that BBC bosses were ‘furious’ he was leaving as they had planned important storylines around his character.
EastEnders said in a statement: ‘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 support 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.’
Meanwhile Brian said in a social media video: ‘Hi it’s me Brian, AKA Rocky from EastEnders. I am just sending out this message to all the fans. You may have heard reports that I am leaving.
‘It was a tough decision but it is true that I am going, I made it for many reasons that decision. It was tough as they are such a wonderful crowd in front and behind the cameras and I have loved my three years there.
‘That is the truth. There are reports that I clashed and that I was ranting, but I’m not ranting. I have gone with their blessings the Beeb and I am excited about the future and where it’s going to go and I am excited about Rocky’s exit because it’s good!
‘So I am sending you much love to all EastEnders fans and enough said!’
It comes after in June Brian revealed he could be facing the chop in this year’s Christmas cliff-hanger.
The actor told host Steph McGovern Steph’s Packed Lunch that the BBC1 soap is planning to film a number of different endings for this year’s Christmas Day episode to keep viewers guessing.
He said: ‘In February we had a lovely episode where if flashed forward to Christmas, and someone’s dead in The Vic and Letitia is there in a wedding dress and she’s covered in blood.
‘So everyone’s going, ‘O my God, who’s dead?’, as well as all the actors in the show, and all you saw was it’s a male, or is it, I don’t know.
‘You just saw the cufflinks and I think everyone has been looking out for those cufflinks for a while now.’
Asked by Steph if the cast knew who the victim was Brain replied: ‘None of us have got a clue.
‘I believe leading up to Christmas, there might be ten of us laying there so that it will be a big surprise to us as well.
‘We’re all going to maybe film a moment where we’re all laying on the floor and then right up until the last minute they can reveal on Christmas Day who it is.’
Asked if he was worried about potentially being killed off, Brian said: ‘You’re in an ongoing drama so you know people do pass away and you do live on tenterhooks, especially if you’re enjoying it, and we all are, they’re a lovely bunch, everyone there.
‘I’m very happy to be there and I just think what we’re doing now and the fact that it’s the number one soap is very exciting.’
Conley has been the host of The Brian Conley Show, as well as presenting the Royal Variety Performance on eight occasions.