EastEnders cast Brian Conley to relieve the ‘doom and gloom’ of difficult year

Funnyman Brian Conley has been brought into EastEnders to relieve the “doom and gloom” of Albert Square and inject some comedy into the miserable BBC soap.

The 59-year-old comic-and-actor is heading to Walford to play Terry Cant, the long-lost father of Sonia Fowler, who has been played by Natalie Cassidy since 1993.

Brian has revealed that the producers offered him a role without him even having to audition and it was made clear that his job is make viewers laugh in contrast to the depressing stories usually on offer.

He said: “The producers and the casting directors said ‘we want to talk to you,’ I thought it was just a Zoom.

“They went, ‘So this is the character, probably starts in March and we’d love you to be in it a year.’ I went, ‘So you’re offering me that are you?’ And they went, ‘Yeah.’ So I didn’t even have to read for it or anything.

“He’s a cheeky Cockney lad, so it’s a bit of a strain, and he’s always got a little funny line to say.

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“I do know where they’re coming from. Where they’re coming from right now with Covid and everything they just want to lighten it up a bit and not be so doom and gloom.”

Brian’s initial contract is for a year and he knows what his entire storyline is but he has been told to stay silent by bosses and he will be making his debut on Albert Square in May.

He said: “I am Terry Cant and I am Sonia’s dad and that is quite amazing because she has been in that show since she was nine.

“I know I’m going to be in good hands, she’ll be there to guide me through it in those early days. She rung me to say how pleased she is I’m in it.

“The shows are only 20 minutes long at the moment, there’s still three a week so you’re still very busy doing that.”

He added in an At Home With Hayley YouTube interview: “I do know my story, I’m in quiet a weird position where I’m not allowed to say anything. They said to me, ‘Tell them your name and tell them that you’re Sonia’s dad and that is it.’

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“I’ve got a really good nickname which I’m always referred to. After the first proper scene I explain that I don’t like being called Terry and this is my name and I explain why my name is this. I know that will latch on, it really made me smile when they told me.

“I do know a lot of the plot now, you have to, I have to know where I’m coming from and the games I’m playing and why I’m there. It’s really exciting.

“I start filming shortly and those episodes don’t come out until May because they’re always filming about two months ahead.”

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