Inside EastEnders Brian Coney’s life from joe lie to late dad’s link to BBC soap

Brian Conley joined the cast of EastEnders as Sonia's father Rocky earlier this year.

However, fans of the BBC One soap have recently discovered that he's actually bad boy Nick Cotton's brother Tommy.

The seedy newcomer has teamed up with niece Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) to steal Sonia's money given to hear by Walford icon Dot Cotton.

Before Albert Square though, Conley was already a familiar face on our TV screens and has worked with everyone from Amanda Holden to Terry Wogan, and even put his dancing shoes on for Strictly.

Earlier this year, Brain admitted that he was emotional after getting the part as it was his father Colin's favourite show in the last six months before his death.

In another twist, Colin also worked on the soap before Brian.

He worked as a rigger on outside broadcasts at the BBC and worked as one of the prop men on set.

"He would often be there a lot and post posters in the markets – you could see me in the background of a Gillian Taylforth scene," Brian told The Sun earlier this year.

Brian starred in his first television roles as a teenager on sci-fi programmes including The Tomorrow People in 1978.

The actor has never really left our screens over the years, starring alongside Samantha Beckinsale and Sylvia Kay in the 1994 drama Time after Time as well as shows such as The Chase, I'm a Celebrity and Pointless.

He also presented comedy programme, The Brian Conley Show from 1992, where his iconic catchphrase "It's a puppet!" was born.

One of his most memorable roles however was alongside Amanda Holden in comedy show The Grimleys, which aired from 1999 until 2001.

Set in 1970's Dudley, the series followed the life of young Gordan Grimley, his family and teachers, including Connelly's enthusiastic character Doug 'Dynamo' Digby.

During the series, which also starred The Young Ones Nigel Planner and Slade legend Noddy Holder, Doug could often be found trying to win the affections of one of Gordon's teacher's Geraldine, played by Amanda.

Brian, who has been married to his wife Anne-Marie since 1996, has since starred in Christian Bale film Equilibrium and also taken to the stage to show off his musical theatre skills in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Oliver.

That's not the only time he has put on his dancing shoes though, having appeared in BBC's Strictly in 2017 where he and professional dance partner Amy Dowden made it to week five.

However, Brain has not always found it easy to find work and once lied to get a job in Pontins.

Opening in a previous interview, Brian told Group Leisure and Travel: "I read that Pontins was holding auditions for Bluecoats, but you had to be 18 and over to apply, so of course I went along anyway.

"I prepared five, 20-minute slots and I think they were so blown away by that, that I got the job.

"I saw the lady who gave me the job years later and she admitted always knew I was too young, but really liked me, so that was lovely to hear. Sometimes you need a bit of luck though, because an agent signed me after one season at Pontins."

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