EastEnders newcomer Brian Conley believes late dad sent a sign to the BBC set during filming

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On Tuesday 18 May, comedian, television presenter and theatre extraordinaire Brian Conley will arrive at Walford East station to begin his stint on EastEnders as Terry Cant, aka “Rocky.”

The showbiz veteran has previously said being cast in the long-running BBC soap is an “incredible moment” for him. However, when OK! caught up with the 59 year old, he opened up about just how much being a Walford resident means to him and why it’s “an honour” to be playing the part.

It turns out Brian’s late dad was a big fan of EastEnders and the actor emotionally revealed that he believes he was sent a sign during his first day filming in the Queen Vic.

“My dad had bowel cancer and in the last six months of his life he spent a lot of time at home and really got into EastEnders. He’d always been a fan and even worked for the BBC as a rigger supervisor – all while keeping his cabbing badge up.

"He was a taxi driver for 25 years,” Brian explained.

“I was filming a scene in the Vic with a lot of the characters. It was my first day and I was so nervous, but I looked over and I saw this little cab that’d been screwed onto a shelf. I’m getting emotional now, I mustn’t cry!

“I just knew that that was my dad because he was a cab driver. I thought, ‘I’m in good hands now.’ It felt like he was saying, ‘You’ll be alright.’”

Brian is renowned for being a comedic actor and he’s previously explained that his character Terry will “lighten the show up a bit” so that it won’t be so “doom and gloom.”

“Terry’s a cheeky Cockney lad and he’s always got a little funny line to say,” Brian teased.

“I’ve always had the gift of the gab too and I think EastEnders have cleverly opened it up for me to embellish the character and the story and they’re writing the part for me now.”

However, it’s not all fun and games.

There is some drama loaded into Terry’s storyline. When he arrives on Albert Square, viewers quickly learn that he’s Sonia’s long-lost father and his primary reason for returning to Walford is to try and rebuild his relationship with her.

“To work with Natalie [Cassidy] … Oh my god! I’ve seen her on the show since she was 10!” Brian gushed.

He also had plenty of praise for Shirley Carter actress, Linda Henry.

He said: “I’ve got to be honest, I was really intimidated at first because Shirley is so tough – but I’ve got to tell you, Linda who plays her is the nicest person there! She’s so lovely and warm and caring.”

It looks like Brian is settling into his new role just fine!

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