Who is Brian Conley? Everything you need to know about the comedian and Strictly Come Dancing contestant

Strictly 2017 contestant Brian's been on TV for the last four decades as a comedian, presenter, actor and singer - hmmm... there's something missing there...

Strictly Come Dancing Brian Conley Amy Dowden

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 celebrities: Brian Conley

Age: 56

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Strictly Come Dancing code name: Apollo. There doesn’t appear to be an official explanation why, but our guess is because he’s a bit of a ‘Mr Variety’, and Apollo is the god of many different things, a jack of all trades in deity terms

Twitter: @RealBrianConley

Which Strictly professional has Brian been paired with? Amy Dowden

Strictly Come Dancing Brian Conley Amy Dowden

Week 5 – Brian was eliminated from Strictly this week

Score on the leaderboard: 16

Dance: Jive to It’s Not Unusual

The judges’ verdict: The score that Brian and Amy got for this Jive sadly wasn’t unusual for him when he found himself at the bottom of the leaderboard. Craig said his performance was “flat-footed” and that he needed more power and retraction, although praised his “energy and facial expressions”. Darcey also said he needed more power but that she loved the “full routine”, and Shirley Ballas thought he had the “feel-good factor” in his performance.

Week 4

Score on the leaderboard: 21

Dance: Paso Doble to I Believe In A Thing Called Love by The Darkness

The judges’ verdict: Bruno called it a “punko doble”, a pun he’d probably been sitting on ever since seeing Brian’s costume for the first time. But while Bruno said the shaping went to pieces, Shirley was more upbeat – giving him an extra point for the shaping in his arms and some “proper steps” in the routine. Craig did praise his effort but reckoned it was far too stompy. Even though Darcey thought it was an improvement, he still got a lower score than last week.

Week 3

Score on the leaderboard: 22

Dance: American Smooth to If I Only Had A Brain

The judges’ verdict: Brian’s dancing might not have gone down so well with the judges, but they certainly loved his characterisation in his Wizard of Oz-inspired routine. “If they cast the show, you’ve got the part,” said Bruno, who said his energy “goes down” when he’s in hold and dancing. Craig would have liked to see more ballroom in the routine and picked up Brian on his heel leads, but he said it was “definitely” an improvement on last week. Darcey praised his musicality, but also said that his performance felt very safe. “You’re extremely entertaining, and coming back from the dance off last week you’ve done yourself proud,” said Shirley.

Week 2

Score on the leaderboard: 19 (35 combined with week 1)

Dance: Cha Cha to Shake Your Groove Thing by Peaches and Herb

Judges’ verdict: “Saturday Night Fever and a little influenza,” Bruno declared, while Craig said it was “stompy” with no hip action and terrible timing. Still, the judges praised his entertainment value, with Darcey calling the dance “lively and bright”.

Week 1

Score on the leaderboard: 16

Dance: Tango to Temptation by Heaven 17

The judges’ verdict: Bruno loved Brian’s “passion” and “intensity”, but also said that his footwork was “ill-fitting” and that perhaps he should take his shoes back to the cobblers…whatever that means! Craig criticised Brian’s “poor” posture and didn’t believe that he was driving or leading the dance “in any way”. Shirley praised his character and said he was “great in promenade” and that overall it was a “very good performance”.

Has Brian Conley been in the dance off?

Yes – Brian Conley was in the first dance off in week 2. Head judge Shirley Ballas had the tie-breaking vote and decided to send Chizzy Akudolu home instead.

Radio Times spoke exclusively to Brian Conley:

Why are you on Strictly?

“For the money. No, I’ve been asked before and turned it down. I think I was just nervous.”

Any dance experience?

“Oh yes, I’ll be all right if we do the slosh. Amy may be a British champion, but she doesn’t know what that is — I’ll teach her a thing or two.”

Hear more from Brian and Amy in our exclusive interview below:

What is Brian Conley famous for?

Brian Conley – also known as the self-proclaimed “Dangerous Brian” – is a comedian, presenter, actor and singer who’s been on our tellies for four decades.

The height of his TV fame was in the 90s with The Brian Conley Show. He also had a sitcom called Time After Time, starred in Jed Mercurio’s comedy-drama The Grimleys and was on The National Lottery: We’ve Got Your Number.

He was widely referred to as the best paid man on television in his heyday – probably because he was in almost everything. Prolific doesn’t begin to cover it.

He’s also done his fair share of theatre, and was nominated for an Olivier for playing the great entertainer Al Jolson on stage, a performance which would have given him an awful lot of dancing experience.

Since then, Brian has hosted several TV shows including Let Me Entertain You, and has performed 13 times, no less, as Buttons in Cinderella pantomimes (“oh no he hasn’t!” Oh yes, he has…) This Christmas, Brian will star in his 35th panto.

Brian took part in the 2012 series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! but had to leave the jungle on medical grounds after just a few days.

Here is a video of Brian eating fire on Loose Women, because, why not?

When he was announced for Strictly, Brian said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be asked to strut my stuff on this year’s Strictly. My family all love the show and can’t wait to see me do my Dad dancing on national television.  I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work but I’m up for the challenge, so bring on the spray tan and sequins.”


Strictly Come Dancing 2017 full contestant line-up

Alexandra Burke

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Jonnie Peacock

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Debbie McGee

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Chizzy Akudolu

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Charlotte Hawkins

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Brian Conley

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Susan Calman

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Aston Merrygold

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Simon Rimmer

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Joe McFadden

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Rev Richard Coles

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Gemma Atkinson

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Ruth Langsford

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Davood Ghadami

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Mollie King

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Last updated 22nd September 2017