Brian Conley has suddenly quit his role on BBC soap EastEnders as Rocky ahead of the big Christmas murder, it’s been reported.
It’s been claimed that the actor ‘wanted out for a while’, two and a half years after making his debut.
‘Brian was a brilliant signing and has been a big hit with fans,’ an insider said.
‘But it looks as though he’s just not enjoying being on EastEnders any more — and has been telling a lot of colleagues and telly friends he wanted out for a while.’
They continued to The Sun: ‘It’s all come to a head, and at the National TV Awards last week he was pretty open with co-stars and friends about his exit.’
It’s been alleged that the soap had ‘made so many plans’ around his character Rocky, and that the 62-year-old’s departure could impact the upcoming murder that’s set to be revealed at Christmas.
It’s been claimed that while the BBC wanted Brian to remain on the programme, he decided against staying, leaving bosses at the broadcaster ‘furious’.
The insider stated: ‘There has been a lot said in private about him messing up their plans.
‘Whatever has wound him up, it feels like he can’t get out of there quick enough – and now they’re going to have to rewrite their storyline plans for his rapid exit.’
Ahead of this year’s festive episode, EastEnders fans already know that a murder is set to unravel, after it was revealed that a dead body was lying next to the Vic’s Christmas tree.
The source suggested that Brian’s exit might result in the BBC switching around the victim of the Christmas murder.
‘There was always a plan for a major death at Christmas — but it wasn’t initially going to be this,’ they said.
‘If Brian wants out, it makes sense to switch it around. There’s time to do that before they start filming the Christmas storylines.’
However, some fans who reacted to the news of Brian leaving the soap expressed their hope that his departure will be written into the script separately.
‘I hope this doesn’t derail the Christmas death because if it does it’ll be a big shame, I just hope they write a separate exit,’ one person said on X (formerly Twitter).
When contacted for comment by Metro.co.uk, the BBC said: ‘There are many rumours and theories circulating about whose body is under the Christmas tree but, to not spoil the drama for the audience, we will not be commenting on any speculation.’
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