EastEnders star Brian Conley took the role in the soap after losing a string of big money gigsFebruary 16, 2021
NEW EastEnders star Brian Conley signed up to the BBC soap after a string of money-spinning gigs were cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The 59-year-old can bag up to £25,000 for a corporate engagement and has previously earned around £120,000 from a yearly panto performance.
But the ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant he’s lost out on hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of work.
In 2019, Brian bagged six figures for appearing in Cinderella in Plymouth and would have been in line for another panto pay day last Christmas before the pandemic closed theatres.
The TV star was also due to appear on the West End in Dolly Parton's 9-5 the Musical last year alongside Louise Redknapp – but that appearance was also put on hold due to Covid.
Previously, the actor admitted that he’d never join the soap because BBC bosses wouldn’t sanction his corporate work – but the pandemic has meant that bookings from firms have dried up.
He is on the books of renowned speaking agency JLA where his fees are listed as being between £10,000 and £25,000.
The firm’s website says: "Brian Conley is one of Britain's most versatile entertainers.
"With credits stretching from primetime variety and chat shows through to West End musicals, he is firmly established as a household name.
"Brian started out as a Bluecoat at Pontin's. After a stint as a warm up act for Terry Wogan and Kenny Everett, it wasn’t long before he was appearing on Live from the Palladium.
"The Brian Conley Show followed, showcasing his skills as an all-round entertainer appealing across the generations.”
One satisfied firm wrote in a review: "Very funny and his singing was amazing! He did really well."
JLA list Brian as an A-rated star alongside other celebs like Vernon Kay and John Barrowman.
Their top-rated AA personalities like Stephen Fry and Holly Willoughby charge more than £25,000 for some bookings.
And now the stage star will join Albert Square having said he had turned down the BBC show twice.
He will star as Terry Cant, the long-lost dad of Sonia, played by Natalie Cassidy.
Brian, whose first scenes will air this spring, 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 at private school."
But nine years on and Brian has changed his tune on the soap and recently shared his delight about joining the cast.
Speaking about his new role, he said: "As you can imagine, being a Londoner and now being part of EastEnders is an incredible moment for me.
"I know my dad's looking down from above and saying, 'Good on yer, son!' It was always his favourite programme.
"So it 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 can't wait to order my first pint at The Queen Vic."
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