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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Ellie Muir

EastEnders star Brian Conley recalls hilarious backhanded compliment from a stranger


Brian Conley made for a lively appearance on Loose Women, as he recalled an incident where he received a backhanded compliment from a stranger.

The 61-year-old Conley is known for his role as Tom “Rocky” Cotton in BBC soap EastEnders.

On Loose Women today (19 December), the actor remembered the encounter where a stranger apparently once said to him: “You know you like Brian Conley, no offence!”

The hosts had jested that Conley is a George Clooney lookalike.

Later in the programme, Conley teared up after his daughter, Lucy, made a surprise appearance on stage in a bear costume.

He told the audience: “I’m getting all teary now.”

The actor also reflected on Dot Cotton’s funeral episode on EastEnders, which aired on Monday (12 December).

He revealed that the cast members were emotional performing the fictional funeral of Cotton, following the death of fellow castmate June Brown.

Brian Conley said that performing Dot Cotton’s funeral was emotional for the whole cast (PA Wire)

Conley said: “When Natalie Cassidy [Sonia] had to get up and make a eulogy, she was genuinely crying. A lot of us were.”

Brown, who died aged 95 in April, portrayed the chain-smoking Dot Cotton for 35 years and was one of the most iconic figures on the soap.

In a scene at the character’s funeral in the tribute episode, three of Brown’s children – Nim, Sophie and Billy – could be seen sitting on the same row as Dot’s great-nephew Reiss Colwell (played by Jonny Freeman), as Dot was laid to rest.

“In the new year, there is going to be some really really good stuff,” Conley teased about EastEnders in 2023, after reflecting on the sadness of the funeral episode.

When asked about how he spends Christmas with his family, Conley told Loose Women that he and his brother perform a lipsync battle on Christmas day, which is the only day off during his busy performance schedule, starring as “Buttons” in pantomime in Woking, England.

Conley is the host of The Brian Conley Show, and has also presented the Royal Variety Performance on eight separate occasions.

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