EastEnders writer responds to rewrite claims over Rocky Cotton exit

EastEnders spoilers follow.

EastEnders writer Sharon Marshall has spoken out about rumours surrounding Brian Conley's exit.

The actor and the BBC both have confirmed he's set to leave his role as Tom 'Rocky' Cotton in the near future, while also downplaying rumours of a rift between him and EastEnders' writing team.

There were reports that EastEnders' writers had to devise last-minute script changes to accommodate Rocky's departure, though writer Sharon Marshall has denied these claims, too.

During an appearance on This Morning, Sharon confirmed to presenter Holly Willoughby that Conley's departure has been in the plans for a while now.

sharon marshall on this morning
Sharon Marshall on This Morning on WednesdayS Meddle/ITV/Shutterstock

"He told us months back," the writer clarified. "And we love him. We were only supposed to have him for three months, and we've ended up having him for [two] years because we didn't want to let him go. Everybody in that building absolutely adores him and he goes with our blessing and support."

"There's no last-minute rewrites — it's all set in stone," Sharon added. "But I'm not telling you how he goes because it's all a big secret."

Earlier in the week, Brian posted a video statement on his Instagram to refute claims that he'd been at odds with EastEnders bosses over his departure.

brian conley as terry cant in eastenders

"I didn't clash with anyone. I didn't have a rant. But they'll probably report on this now that I'm ranting about ranting! But I'm not ranting," he told his social media followers.

"I have gone with their blessings at the Beeb, and I'm excited about the future and where it's going to go."

Conley has already lined up two high-profile post-EastEnders jobs. First, he's set to headline a UK tour featuring comedy, music and entertainment.

He'll appear this festive season at the Milton Keynes Theatre's annual panto, reprising his role as Buttons in Cinderella.

EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.

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