EastEnders casts Brian Conley as Sonia’s long-lost dad after he turned down soap

Comic Brian Conley is set to join EastEnders.

The telly legend, 59, has landed a role as charmer Terry Cant, who is the long-lost dad of show favourite Sonia Fowler, played by Natalie Cassidy, 37.

In his first interview about joining the show, he 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.

“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 will make his debut on the soap this spring.

The arrival of Terry is set to turn Sonia’s life upside down.

A show insider said: “Sonia searched for her lost father’s name online last year to no avail. Having given up any hope of finding her dad, Terry’s arrival in Walford will be a huge shock for her.

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“Terry is the ultimate people pleaser and will be quick to charm everyone on Albert Square.”

Show boss Jon Sen said: “We are delighted to welcome Brian to Albert Square.

“We had been searching for some time, but the moment we met Brian, we knew instantly we had found our man.

“Brian’s a talented performer whose charm, wit and charisma are exactly the qualities we want for Terry.

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“We’ve got some wonderful stories in store for him and can’t wait for the audience to see Brian bring him to life.”

Brian shot to fame as a TV comedian in the 80s and went on to front The Brian Conley Show.

The star went on to stars in a string of films and stage shows.

The soon-to-be soap star previously admitted he turned down the BBC soap.

He previously said: "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."

EastEnders airs Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays on BBC One

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