BRIAN CONLEY is fast becoming public enemy No1 on Strictly Come Dancing.
After telling backstage crew he wanted out of the show because of a lucrative panto gig as Buttons in Cinderella, he is now winding up some of his fellow celebrities because they think he is getting preferential treatment.
His brother is the show’s long-time floor manager Alan Conley, who helps production bosses call the shots.
A source said: “Alan has worked on the show for years and his inevitable closeness to Brian has been putting noses out of joint.
“There is fury among a group who think Brian is getting special treatment.
“Staying in Strictly and doing well is in no small part down to how your clips are edited and the airtime each celebrity gets, so having a family member on staff is bound to help.
“Brian survived the first dance-off against former Holby City actress CHIZZY AKUDOLU, despite having been the favourite to go.”
Alan is something of a TV veteran, having also worked on Britain’s Got Talent and Top Gear, and the row over Brian comes just days after The Sun revealed how the funnyman — who in 2012 took part in I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! — wanted out of the BBC1 show after a matter of days.
He has been telling backstage crew he has just “one week left” and already appears to have one eye on the door because of his Cinderella duties. He is pictured at the panto’s press launch on Sunday with TV fashion guru and chef Gok Wan, who plays Cinders’ Fairy Godmother.
I revealed earlier this year how fellow dance wannabe Debbie McGee is also double-booked due to panto work — the widow of TV magician Paul starring in Beauty And The Beast, as the Good Fairy, in York.
Alan should use his clout, do his brother a favour and get him booted off Strictly.
PALS CHRIS HUGHES and KEM CETINAY are getting another series of spin-off show Straight Outta Love Island.
There were 471,000 viewers for the first two episodes and proud Kem said bosses called the figures “amazing”.
Chris Hughes and Kem Cetinay meet Stormzy in Chris & Kem – Straight Outta Love Island
Debbie put a foot wrong
STRICTLY hates leaks about the mostly pre-recorded results shows and this time it is one of their own to blame.
DEBBIE McGEE has been told off after revealing REVEREND RICHARD COLES was the latest celebrity to leave, ahead of Sunday night’s programme.
She made the blunder in her BBC Radio Berkshire Sunday morning slot, when she said she thought it was “very sad” that he had gone, before then desperately trying to backtrack.
After realising her mistake, she tried to cover it up by adding: “Oh. He fell over at one point so he went and had to be treated so we’re waiting to hear what happens in the results show tonight.”
If only her acting was as good as her dancing.
Closing time for Helen
HELEN PEARSON is leaving Hollyoaks after 15 years – as her on-screen ex returns.
Helen has played pub landlady Frankie Osborne since 2002 but made the “hard decision” to quit.
It paves the way for COLIN WELLS to reprise his role as Johnno Dean after 12 years away from the Channel 4 show.
His character left town after wife Frankie discovered he was having an affair with a teenager and had got the girl pregnant.
A telly source said of the actress, who had previously appeared in EastEnders and Emmerdale: “Helen is a soap legend. Her absence will really be felt as she is part of the furniture at Hollyoaks.
“But she’s off to pastures new. It has been a really hard decision.” Helen filmed her last scenes in September and fans will see her departure later this month.
Show bosses held a leaving do for the actress but are said to have told the venue it was for a crew member to keep Helen’s exit under wraps.
That storyline didn’t pan out too well . . .
Spoiler – Liar twists the knife
VIEWERS tonight got the willies watching the penultimate episode of Liar, as the fiend at the centre of the hit drama nearly lost his.
Determined to get justice, JOANNE FROGGATT’s character, school teacher Laura kidnapped, tied up and threatened to cut off the manhood of the man who raped her.
But instead of taking a knife to slippery surgeon Andrew, played by IOAN GRUFFUDD, she decided to make it look like he’d attacked her for a second time before calling the police.
Andrew evenly brazenly admitted to Laura that he’d dared his troubled wife to kill herself and was there when she took her own life.
But when Andrew managed to get free of his bindings, it looked like the tables had turned and he was going to kill Laura before DI Vanessa Harmon arrived on the scene.
Liar has been pulling in an audience of around six million for its past five episodes, and this week’s instalment was the darkest in the series.
It ended with Andrew walking away again, but he could yet get his comeuppance as Liar reaches its much-anticipated conclusion next Monday.
It’s compulsive viewing and has certainly got
IN EASTENDERS, the Fowlers and Kazemis head to the hospital with Arthur and the social worker.
Meanwhile, Mick realises there is something wrong with his wife Linda when she tells Woody there is a long wait for an appointment.
The doctors remove Jane’s breathing tube, a conversation with Patrick helps Ted face up to a painful memory, and Bex tries to make herself scarce when Sonia invites Gethin for lunch.
Over in NEIGHBOURS, Terese meets Paul’s fiancée and is somewhat shocked to discover she is young enough to be his daughter.
Meanwhile, a determined Mr Udagawa makes a surprise visit to Lassiters, hoping to sell his interest in the hotel venture.
WHAT? Our Girl, BBC1, 9pm
WHY? MICHELLE KEEGAN is back as Lance Corporal Georgie Lane in series three of the Army drama.
Episode one sees her sent to Nepal following a devastating earthquake.