EastEnders’ Brian Conley pays emotional tribute to co-star ahead of exit

Actor Brian Conley will be leaving his role as Rocky Cotton on the BBC soap EastEnders after three years and will be leaving his on-screen wife Gillian Taylforth (who plays Kathy Cotton) behind

Brian Conley is leaving EastEnders

Brian Conley is leaving EastEnders 

EastEnders’ Brian Conley has paid an emotional tribute to his co-star ahead of his exit.

The actor has said he is sad to be leaving his on-screen wife Gillian Taylforth, who plays Kathy Cotton, behind. The duo have played on-screen partners for the past two years and their characters got married back in July.

However, recently on the programme, their marriage hasn’t been going too well due to Rocky’s, played by Brian, gambling addiction. In an attempt to solve his debt issues, he set the local café on fire to try and claim on the insurance.

But, this didn’t go to plan as Kathy has been arrested for the crime – so it doesn’t look like their relationship is going to last much longer when she finds out. Before setting the cafe on fire, Kathy had been helping to pay some of his debts while Rocky had been taking out loans from villain Nish Panesar.

He soon realised he would struggle to pay him back on their agreed terms, which Nish wasn’t happy with and soon threatened to tell Kathy what was really going on if he didn’t pay up.

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Rocky has a gambling problem

Rocky has a gambling problem 


BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

OK! reported that Brian said: “I’d dump him, I mean, how much can Kathy put up with? The poor woman has really gone through it with him. But love has kept them together, Rocky genuinely absolutely loves her, which is wonderful.” Brian revealed that he was set to leave the show soon in a social media post.

He said: “It was a tough decision but it is true that I am going, I made it for many reasons. It was tough as they are such a wonderful crowd in front and behind the cameras and I have loved my three years there.”

It’s not yet been revealed how Brian’s exit will play out, with some thinking he may be the mystery person to die at Christmas. A sneak peek was released of Denise Fox (Diane Parish), Kathy, Linda Carter (Kellie Bright), Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal), Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) and Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), finding a mystery dead body.

Brian already has an acting job lined up for Christmas as he prepares to star in a pantomime in Milton Keynes. He said: “I’ll be in panto, in Milton Keynes. Which doesn’t start until 8 December and then after that, I’ll see what happens – I’ve never planned anything. EastEnders came in lockdown, how lucky was I? Everyone was sitting at home and I was busy filming.

“But I came in with an advantage over everyone that was already there, which didn’t dawn on me until later, because they were all going, ‘This isn’t how we normally do it.’ But it was for me! I didn’t know any different.”

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