Who plays Rocky in EastEnders? Everything you need to know

Rocky Cant in EastEnders
Who plays Rocky in EastEnders? (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders' cheeky chappie Tom "Rocky" Cotton first showed up in the Square in 2021, claiming to be Sonia Fowler's (Natalie Cassidy) estranged father Terry Cant.

He later dropped the bombshell that his real name was Tom Cotton and that he pretended to be Sonia's dad as part of a scheme that he and his niece Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) came up with to con Sonia out of Dot Cotton's (June Brown) inheritance money.

Despite his evil plot, he's since managed to forge meaningful relationships with the Walford residents and even won back his true love Kathy Beale's (Gillian Taylforth) trust — now the couple are engaged after he unintentionally proposed to her!

With the comical character often gracing the Square with his cockney banter, you may be wondering who plays Rocky in EastEnders?  

Who plays Rocky in EastEnders? 

Rocky is played by actor and comedian Brian Conley, who has a career spanning over four decades.

He got his TV break as a warm-up man for The Krankies and Terry Wogan, before he starred in the sketch show Five Alive and Live From The Palladium.

In 1992, he hosted his own TV programme The Brian Conley Show, which became one of Britain's most-watched entertainment shows and has appeared in The Grimleys, The TV That Made Me, Last of the Summer Wine and took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2017.

Being one of Britain's leading comedians also led him to act in the London's West End in theatre shows such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oliver!, Hairspray, Me and My Girl and more.

Rocky Cotton sitting on the sofa

Brian Conley as Rocky Cotton in EastEnders. (Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

Similarly to his role in The Grimleys, where he played the cruel PE teacher Digby, he's hoping that EastEnders will tap into the darker side of his character Rocky, telling the Metro: "What has Rocky really done for the last thirty years? I’m intrigued! I think there are plans to find out.

"I would like to have some light and shade there. I did a film called Circus way back when I played quite an evil guy, and I also did a series called The Grimleys, where I played the sadistic P.E. teacher and I quite liked that.

"If Rocky did go to the dark side again, I’d want it to be for a good reason — like somebody upset Kathy or somebody needed their comeuppance for doing something bad."

EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm on BBC One — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer now. 

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a freelancer writer with WhatToWatch.com, and she now writes for our sister site TechRadar. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.