Brian Conley to join EastEnders as Sonia’s long-lost father after turning down soap

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Brian Conley has joined the cast of EastEnders, after previously turning down offers from the BBC soap.

Comedian Brian, 59, will head to Albert Square as Sonia Jackson’s long-lost father Terry Cant. His first scenes will air in spring.

Speaking of joining the soap, Brian said: “As you can imagine being a Londoner and now being part of EastEnders is such an incredible moment for me.

“I know for sure my dad’s looking down from above and saying ‘Good on yer son!’ It was always his favourite programme.

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“So in so many ways it really is an honour to be part of such an iconic show and to be working with an incredibly talented team on camera and off. I cannot wait to order my first pint at The Queen Vic.”

Brian previously revealed he turned down an opportunity to appear on the BBC soap.

He said in 2012: “I don’t hanker for fame. I just want to work. EastEnders wouldn’t allow me to do anything else and I do a lot of corporate gigs.

“Also, unless you are in it for three years, you don’t earn anything and I’ve got two children who go to private school.”

Brian’s character’s entrance comes after Sonia searched for her long lost father online last year.


But she was unsuccessful, meaning Brian’s debut will come as a shock to Sonia, who is set to return to the soap herself after a short break away.

In the BBC soap, fans saw the stress of the pandemic get to Sonia as she struggled with being overworked in the Covid-19 ward at Walford General.

During an emotional scene, where Sonia took Ian Beale's blood pressure, the nurse hit out at Ian.

Walford businessman Ian compared running the Queen Victoria pub to working on a coronavirus ward, to which caused Sonia to blast him.

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She said: “People are dying” before telling him to seek treatment from his doctor.

Later, Sonia made the decision to take some time away from her hospital job to visit her daughter Rebecca Fowler, who is currently travelling in India.

But Sonia, played by Natalie Cassidy, will also be returning to our screens in the spring as a source told The Sun Online recently: “She’ll be back again early Spring. Giving actors on the show breaks is nothing unusual and when it’s a quieter period for their character, it makes more sense to rest the characters rather than them not doing much on set.”

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