The Only Way Is Essex

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The Only Way Is Essex
Towie opening title.png
GenreReality television
Created byRuth Wrigley
Tony Wood
StarringJess Wright
James "Arg" Argent
Sam Faiers
Lauren Pope
Chloe Sims
Gemma Collins
Mario Falcone
Elliot Wright
Narrated byDenise van Outen
Opening theme"The Only Way Is Up" by Yazz
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series10
No. of episodes121 (List of episodes)
Running time30–60 mins (series 1)
45–60 mins (series 2–7)
50–60 mins (series 8–present)
Production company(s)Lime Pictures
Original channelITV2
Original run10 October 2010 (2010-10-10) – present
Related showsIt's All About Amy
Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights
The Hills
Geordie Shore
Made in Chelsea
Desperate Scousewives
Jersey Shore
External links
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The Only Way Is Essex
Towie opening title.png
GenreReality television
Created byRuth Wrigley
Tony Wood
StarringJess Wright
James "Arg" Argent
Sam Faiers
Lauren Pope
Chloe Sims
Gemma Collins
Mario Falcone
Elliot Wright
Narrated byDenise van Outen
Opening theme"The Only Way Is Up" by Yazz
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series10
No. of episodes121 (List of episodes)
Running time30–60 mins (series 1)
45–60 mins (series 2–7)
50–60 mins (series 8–present)
Production company(s)Lime Pictures
Original channelITV2
Original run10 October 2010 (2010-10-10) – present
Related showsIt's All About Amy
Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights
The Hills
Geordie Shore
Made in Chelsea
Desperate Scousewives
Jersey Shore
External links

The Only Way Is Essex (often abbreviated as TOWIE) is a BAFTA award-winning reality television show based in Essex, England. It shows "real people in modified situations, saying unscripted lines but in a structured way."[1] The show is filmed just a few days in advance. It is narrated by Denise van Outen, who is from Basildon, Essex. The show has been described by the Daily Mirror as Britain's answer to The Hills and Jersey Shore.[2]

The series airs for four weeks, airing on Wednesdays and Sundays at 10pm on ITV2. The first series consisted of 10 episodes and ran for 30 minutes with a Christmas special followed later in the year. Due to popularity the show was extended to 45 minute episodes and renewed for a year's airing. On 22 May 2011, the series won the Audience Award at the 2011 BAFTA Awards. The tenth and latest series aired from October to December 2013 consisting of 13 episodes including a fourth Christmas special.


Series one began airing on 10 October 2010 and concluded on 10 November 2010, consisting of 10 episodes. Due to the success of the series, a Christmas special aired the same year on 24 December 2010. This series was heavily centred around the love triangle of Mark Wright, Lauren Goodger, and Lucy Mecklenburgh. Five of the main members of the cast appeared on Alan Carr: Chatty Man on 21 February 2011 to discuss the first series and also confirmed a second series.

Series 2 began airing on 20 March 2011 and concluded on 4 May 2011. Due to the popularity of the first series, the second series consisted of 14 episodes. Before the series aired, the cast filmed a four-minute music video that was screened on ITV2; dance duo LMFAO remixed their hit single "I'm in Miami Bitch" and replaced it with "Im in Essex Girl". This series saw the departure of Amy Childs off screen and introduced new characters Joey Essex and Gemma Collins.

Series 3 began airing on 24 September 2011 and concluded on 9 November 2011, consisting of 14 episodes. This series saw the departures of original cast members Mark Wright, Harry Derbridge and Kirk Norcross. A second Christmas special aired on 20 December. The cast of the third series (excluding Wright and Norcross) covered the Wham single "Last Christmas"; the official video premiered on ITV2 in November and the single peaked at number 32 on the UK Singles Chart. The cast for series 4 was officially announced on 24 January with the announcement that Maria Fowler and Harry Derbidge would not be returning.[3] On 25 January the show was nominated for "Most Popular Reality Programme" at the National Television Awards. Series 4 returned on 29 January 2012 and ended on 29 February. Series 5 began airing 15 April and yet again ran for 10 episodes concluding on 27 May 2012. An hour-long special entitled The Only Way Is Marbs, set in the holiday destination of Marbella, aired on 13 June 2012.[4] Tinchy Stryder made a guest appearance in the episode. Series 6 started airing from 22 July and concluded on 22 August. It was confirmed that original cast member Lauren Goodger would be leaving the series in the final episode. The seventh series started airing from 30 September 2012 with all of the cast from the previous series returning (apart from Goodger) and original cast member Kirk Norcross returning to the series after departing in series 3, the series will conclude on 31 October.[5] An eighth and ninth series was confirmed shortly after to be aired in 2013. On 13 November 2012, it was confirmed that three festive specials would air in December including a live episode, a first for any reality show. The specials aired from 3–19 December. On 19 December during the Christmas special, Lydia Bright announced that she was leaving the series.

Series 4 began airing on 29 January 2012 and ended on 29 February 2012, consisting of 10 episodes. Before the series aired it was confirmed that the show would run like a soap opera and therefore be screened throughout the entire year with four series airing in 2012. This series introduced numerous new characters due to the amount of departures from series 3, including Charlie King and Bobby Norris. Lauren Goodger confirmed that she would depart in the final episode of series 6 due to wanting to pursue other things, her final appearance was shown in the finale of series six. Kirk Norcross returned in series 7 after departing in series 3, making him the first cast member to return to the show. The series was renewed for two further series in August 2012, set to air sometime in 2013.[6] On 13 November 2012 it was confirmed that three festive specials would air in December including a live episode, a first for the show. Sam Faiers later tweeted "I'm really excited but so so nervous! It's going to be an amazing experience. Who knows what will happen... especially in Essex!" The live episode was met with numerous negative reviews, with Digital Spy commenting that it just didn't work and being complete car crash TV with it not making much sense. On 14 December 2012 it was confirmed that former cast member Mark Wright would return for a cameo appearance in the 2012 Christmas special, Wright confirmed this speaking to The Sun saying "Arg is a bit down right now, so I'm doing this for him. I know how excited he will be. It should be great fun and I'm looking forward to catching up with old friends." Original cast member Lydia Bright, Tom Kilbey, and Cara Kilbey all left after this series. In February 2013 it was confirmed that a film adaptation of the show would be made and would be set in Dubai with filming starting in the summer of 2013.[7] Series 8 started airing from 24 February 2013 and saw the introduction of several new supporting cast members. The series saw the departures of numerous long serving cast members such as Kirk Norcross, Debbie Douglas and Mick Norcross, who all announced their departures mid-way through the series.[8][9] An advert released on 22 May 2013 on ITV confirmed that Series 9 will begin with a The Only Way Is Marbs special. The series will begin 2 June 2013.[10] On 24 May 2013, it was announced that Billi Mucklow, Darrell Privett and Danni Park-Dempsey had all been axed from the show as well that Gary Lineker's brother, Wayne Lineker had joined the cast.[11] The tenth series began with two Vegas specials on 6–9 October 2013.

Series 8, the first of 2013, began airing on 24 February. On 23 February, the day before the premiere of the first episode, it was reported that Lucy Mecklenburgh and Mario Falcone had split for a second time due to reports of Falcone cheating with new castmember Amy Broadbent, although the couple have not officially confirmed the reports.[12] The same day the series began, it was reported that Joey Essex and Sam Faiers would make series 8 their last series to appear as they wanted to star in their own reality spin-off series, having filmed a pilot in 2012, although no sources have confirmed.[13] New cast members were officially confirmed on 24 February to be twin sisters Amy and Sally Broadbent. However on 7 March, Lucy Mecklenburgh announced on Twitter that Amy had been used by the show create storylines and had been dropped fom the cast.[14]

Series 9 began with a The Only Way Is Marbs special as confirmed by an advert airing on ITV on 22 May 2013. It was also confirmed that it would begin 2 June 2013.[10] On 24 May 2013 it was revealed that Gary Lineker's brother, Wayne Lineker, had joined the cast. It was also announced that Billi Mucklow, Darrell Privett and Danni-Park Dempsey had all been axed from the show.[11] Series 10 began with two-hour long The Only Way Is Vegas specials on 6 and 9 October 2013, as confirmed by ITV Press Centre on 25 September 2013.[15] The regular tenth series followed running fro 13 October to 13 November, in the series finale it was confirmed that Joey Essex would make his final appearance.


Main cast[edit]

This is the main current cast for series 1–10.

From series 1–3, the main cast received star billing in the opening credits, and were credited by their first names.

Cast memberAgeSeries(s)Notes
Jess Wright271–presentJess is the sister of former cast member Mark Wright, she runs her own lingerie shop called 'With Love, Jessica'. Educated at Bancroft's School. Ricky Rayment's girlfriend.
James "Arg" Argent251–presentArg is the best friend of Mark Wright and ex-boyfriend of both Lydia Bright and Gemma Collins.
Sam Faiers221–presentSam is the co-owner of Minnie's Boutique with her sister Billie, former glamour model. Ex-girlfriend of Mark Wright; recently engaged to Joey Essex after a rollercoaster romance beginning in series 2 before splitting only to reconcile in series 5 and become engaged in Dubai during the series 8 finale. However in series 9, the pair split again and ended their relationship.
Lauren Pope311–presentLauren is a DJ, model and businesswoman and best friends with Chloe Sims. She is the ex-girlfriend of Kirk Norcross and briefly dated Tom Pearce and Mario Falcone.
Chloe Sims312–presentChloe is the sister of Charlie Sims and the cousin of Joey Essex and Frankie Essex, and best friend of Lauren Pope. Sims is also a single mother to daughter Madison who appeared in series 4 of the show.
Gemma Collins322–presentGemma is the ex-girlfriend of both Arg and Charlie King and took an early shine to Mick Norcross (not reciprocated). Gemma has had a very public battle with her weight which has been documented throughout the series.
Mario Falcone253–presentMario is Lucy's ex-boyfriend and has been best friends with supporting cast member Little Chris.
Elliot Wright3210–presentElliot is the cousin of Jessica Wright and Mark Wright, he is currently the main love interest for Sam Faiers.

Supporting cast[edit]

Cast member[16]AgeYears creditedJob/roleSeries(s)
Patricia "Nanny Pat" Brooker722010–presentJess and Mark Wright's grandmother and Carol Wright's mother.1–
Billie Faiers232010–presentSister of Sam Faiers. She appeared in series 1, but without any speaking parts, before being cast as an official cast member in series 2.1–
Carol Wright522011–presentJess and Mark Wright's mother.2–
Ricky Rayment[3]222012–presentFinancial manager, owner of Bar Blanco in Rayleigh and Jess Wright's boyfriend.4–
James "Diags" Bennewith[3]212012–presentBest friend of Joey Essex and Tom Pearce, and briefly dated Abi Clarke4–
Chris "Little Chris" Drake252012–presentBest friend of Mario Falcone.4–
Bobby-Cole Norris272012–presentHair stylist and best friend to Charlie King and Gemma Collins.4–
Tom Pearce222012–presentSchool friend of Joey Essex, dated Lauren Pope, Lauren Goodger,Abi Clarke and Lucy Meclkenburgh.5–
Jasmin Walia[17]222010, 2012–presentAppeared in one episode in series 1 auditioning for the group LOLA before returning in series 7 as a supporting cast member. Former love interest for Charlie King and James Argent.7–
Abi Clarke212013–presentBest friend of Jasmin, has dated Diags, Tom Pearce, and James Lock on the show.8–
Dan Osborne232013–presentModel, best friend of James Lock and ex-fling of Lucy8–
James Lock242013–presentBest friend of Dan Osborne8–
Ferne McCann232013–presentSam and Billie Faiers' friend, Charlie Sims' girlfriend9–
Charlie Sims212013–presentChloe Sim's brother, Joey and Frankie Essex's cousin, Ferne McCann's boyfriend9–

Former cast[edit]

Cast member[16]AgeYears creditedJob/roleSeries
Mark Wright262010–2011, 2012Nightclub promoter, ex fiancé of Lauren Goodger.1–3, 7
Lauren Goodger262010–2012Ex fiancée of Mark Wright, ex-girlfriend of Tom Pearce, owner of product line & shop Laurens Way.1–6
Kirk Norcross242010–2011, 2012–2013Son of Mick Norcross, ex-boyfriend of Amy Childs and Lauren Pope1–3, 7–8
Harry Derbidge192010–2011Student and cousin of Amy Childs.1–3
Maria Fowler272010–2011Glamour model and former housemate of Lauren Pope, briefly dated Mick Norcross.1–3
Amy Childs232010–2011Beautician, cousin of Harry Derbidge and ex-girlfriend of Kirk. Educated at Raphael Independent School.1–2
Michael Woods272010Former bar worker at Sugar Hut and friend of Kirk Norcross.1
Candy Jacobs262010Former bar worker at Sugar Hut and friend of Kirk Norcross.1
Lucy Mecklenburgh222010–2013Owner of fashion boutique Love Lucy and ex-girlfriend of Mark Wright, Mario Falcone, Tom Pearce and Dan Osborne.1–10
Lydia Rose Bright222010–2012, 2013Co-owner of boutique Bella Sorella, ex-girlfriend of James Argent and Tom Kilbey.1–7, 9
Mick Norcross492011–2013Father of Kirk Norcross, nightclub owner of "Sugar Hut" and briefly dated Maria Fowler.2–8
Joey Essex232011–2013Former fiancé of Sam Faiers, cousin of Chloe and Charlie Sims, and Frankie Essex's brother.2–10
Debbie Douglas512011–2013Mother of Lydia Bright.2–8, 10
Billi Mucklow252011–2013Salon owner, best friend of Cara. Ex-girlfriend of Tom Kilbey and had a brief fling with Kirk Norcross.3–8
Cara Kilbey262011–2012Sister of Tom Kilbey, best friend of Billi Mucklow.3–7
Dino Georgiades362011–2012Male model and fitness trainer. Twin brother of Georgio Georgiades.3–4
Georgio Georgiades362011–2012Male model and fitness trainer. Twin brother of Dino Georgiades.3–4
Georgina Dorsett272012Property developer. Fiancée of Manchester United footballer Tom Cleverley.4–5
Charlie King272012–2013Best friend of Bobby-Cole Norris, ex-boyfriend of Gemma Collins and Danni Dempsey4–9
Tom Kilbey222012Brother of Cara Kilbey, ex-boyfriend of Billi Mucklow and Lydia Bright.4–7
Danni Park-Dempsey232012–2013Best Friend of Lydia Bright, dated Charlie King briefly and is in charge of looking after the "Sugar Hut Honeys".5–8
Danny Walia192012–2013Brother of Jasmin Walia, friend of Jack Bennewith7–8
Jack Bennewith192013Diags' brother, friend of Danny Walia8

Cast departures[edit]

Amy Childs left the show after the second series so that she could enter Celebrity Big Brother 8 (where she came fourth). She then starred in her own reality show It's All About Amy on Channel 5. On 9 January 2012, it was rumoured that Childs would be returning to TOWIE due to It's All About Amy being cancelled, but she denied this via Twitter.[citation needed].

Mark Wright announced that he would be leaving the show to take part in I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in which he placed second. Wright's final episode was in the series finale of series 3 on 9 November 2011. Wright later went on to present Take Me Out: The Gossip on ITV2 for two series in 2012.[18] Like Childs, Wright went on to star in his own reality series Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights on ITV2 in June 2012 which ran for 5 episodes but was quickly cancelled due to lack of interest and low ratings. Wright made a cameo appearance in series 6.

On 13 December 2011, Kirk Norcross confirmed he would not be returning to the show saying: "I reached my peak. I also felt I was becoming known as the fiery guy who would flare up, which isn't me. It's just weird how it got, with so many characters fighting for storylines. TOWIE is a great show, but I couldn't see what storyline I was going to end up with - I think I've quit while I was ahead". He later went on to appear on Celebrity Big Brother 9.[19] Norcross returned to the show in the first episode of series 7.

On 9 January 2012, Maria Fowler and Harry Derbidge confirmed their exits from the show on Twitter, with both of them hinting that they have different projects lined up for the future.[20] Fowler thanked her fans for their support, and revealed that she had agreed to leave the show following a meeting with producers.[21] Meanwhile, Derbidge wrote that he was "moving on to different things."[22] Harry had been previously rumoured to leave in September 2011 due to lack of air time and wanting to branch out on his own. Harry now owns his own shop in Brentwood called "Harry's World".

On 22 August 2012, a few hours before the airing of the finale episode in series 6 it was officially confirmed that Lauren Goodger would make her exit in the upcoming episode. Goodger "mutually agreed" a deal to leave the series with ITV, although producers have stated that Goodger could return in the future.[23] On 19 December 2012 original cast member Lydia Bright departed in the 2012 Christmas special. On 19 February 2013 it was announced Cara Kilbey mutually would not be part of the next series; following the departure of her brother Tom Kilbey and a guilty plea for a drunk driving arrest.[24]

On 8 March 2013, Mick Norcross announced he had left the show saying "My club is an upmarket venue where people come to drink champagne and feel spoiled, All these rows they keep filming don't show the club in a good light and I'm worried it's putting people off coming, which is the last thing I want. Allowing the Sugar Hut Honeys to be called slags is the final straw. I would never allow that to happen in my venue. I've had enough. I'm out." Norkross has banned producers from filming in his club "The Sugar Hut" following his departure.[25] On 21 March 2013, Kirk Norcross announced on Twitter that he had left the series for a second time, claiming it had changed too much.[8] On 29 March 2013, Debbie Douglas also announced her departure on from the show on Twitter, saying "For everyone who has been asking me where I have been on recent episodes of TOWIE, I have made the decision to leave the show."[9] On 24 May 2013, it was announced Danni Park-Dempsey, Billi Mucklow and Darrell Privett would all leave the series.[11] Though no formal statements were made, neither Danny Walia or Jack Bennewith were seen during series 9.

On 9 September 2013, Charlie King announced he'd left the show before thanking everyone for the support on Twitter.[26] Four days later, before the series 10 finale, it was confirmed that Joey Essex had left the show and would not be returning for the next series. Lucy Mecklenburgh also left the series during The Only Way Is Essexmas special at the end of the tenth series, on twitter she thanked everyone for their support and said that she's excited for new projects in 2014.

Cast returns[edit]

On 30 September 2012, Kirk Norcross returned to the show in the first episode of series seven. Norcross had a stint on Celebrity Big Brother 9 earlier in the year. He continued on the cast during series 8 but then announced he would be leaving the show again. On 16 December 2012, Mark Wright confirmed he would be returning for a one-off appearance in the 2012 Christmas Special, after originally appearing in the show from series 1-3. Mark also had a non-speaking cameo appearance during series six.

On 16 June 2013, it was revealed in the "next time" montage of the episode that Lydia Rose Bright would be returning. She then took to her Twitter to confirm this but said it was only for one episode; she would meet with Lucy Mecklenburgh to help her through her relationship issues.[27] Debbie Douglas returned in episode 8 of series 10 and met up with Lucy Mecklenburgh to advice her on her relationship with ex-boyfriend Mario Falcone.

Cast table[edit]

Cast MemberSeries 1 (2010)Series 2 (2011)Series 3 (2011)Series 4 (2012)Series 5 (2012)Series 6 (2012)Series 7 (2012)Series 8 (2013)Series 9 (2013)Series 10 (2013)
James "Arg" Argent2010–
Lauren Pope2010–
Sam Faiers2010–
Jess Wright2010–
'Nanny Pat' Brooker2010–
Billie Faiers20102011–
Gemma CollinsNot in show2011–
Chloe SimsNot in show2011–
Frankie EssexNot in show2011–
Carol WrightNot in show2011–
Mario FalconeNot in show2011–
Jameas "Diags" BennewithNot in show2012–
Chris DrakeNot in show2012–
Ricky RaymentNot in show2012–
Bobby Cole-NorrisNot in show2012–
Tom PearceNot in show2012–
Jasmin Walia2010Not in show2012–
Abi ClarkeNot in show2013–
Dan OsbourneNot in show2013–
James LockNot in show2013–
Ferne McCannNot in show2013–
Craig EastmanNot in show2013–
Charlie SimsNot in show2013–
Elliot WrightNot in show2013–
Lucy Mecklenburgh2010–2013
Joey EssexNot in show2011–2013
Charlie KingNot in show2012–2013
Rami HawashNot in show201220122013
Jamie ReedNot in show201120122013
Jack BennewithNot in show2013
Danny WaliaNot in show2012–2013
Darrell PrivettNot in show2012–2013
Danni Park-DempseyNot in show2012–2013
Billi MucklowNot in show2011–2013
Debbie DouglasNot in show2011–2013
Mick NorcrossNot in show2011–2013
Kirk Norcross2010–20112012–2013
Tom KilbeyNot in show2012
Cara KilbeyNot in show2011–2012
Lydia Bright2010–20122013
Lauren Goodger2010–2012
Georgina DorsettNot in show2012
Dino GeorgiadesNot in show2011–2012
Georgio GeorgiadesNot in show2011–2012
Mark Wright2010–20112012
Harry Derbidge2010–2011
Maria Fowler2010–2011
Amy Childs2010–2011
Candy Jacobs2010
Michael Woods2010

Other appearances[edit]

As well as appearing in The Only Way Is Essex, some of the cast members have competed in other reality TV shows including Celebrity Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, Splash!, Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Super Spa.


Controversy and criticism[edit]

The show has been criticised for its negative and stereotypical representation of Essex, and there have been a number of complaints to ITV2.[28] Some Essex residents felt it was not a true representation of the area and the people that live there.[28][29][30][31][32][33] Kirk Norcross responded to this criticism by saying, "We are all from Essex, so this is Essex. It's not acting. It's not like they've got people from America and said 'Right, act like you think you know where Essex is.' We are Essex people so what you're watching is Essex".[34]

In April 2011, it was reported that Big Brother 8 winner Brian Belo planned on suing the makers of The Only Way Is Essex – claiming they "stole his idea".[35] Belo was in the original pilot of the show – provisionally titled Totally Essex[36] – alongside current stars Mark Wright, Sam Faiers, Kirk Norcross and Amy Childs.[35] Belo plans on suing his former manager and Lime Productions, which makes the show, for lost earnings of up to £100,000 a series.[35] The Sun reported that Belo had spent the previous two years working on an idea for a United Kingdom version of The Hills, with his manager successfully pitching the pilot to Lime Productions.[35] After not making the cast list, Belo believed he might be involved in producing the show, but was "cut" from the production entirely.[35]

Series 1 title card with the original cast members including Mark Wright, Lauren Goodger and Amy Childs (2010)

On 24 October 2011, it was reported that sisters Sam and Billie Faiers had been attacked by a group of girls on a night out: "The sisters were first targeted inside the club when the girls made off with Billie's handbag... When they left, the gang followed them back to Essex." An insider also commented saying "Both Sam and Billie later went to A&E to get checked out. They are fine now, just a bit shocked, although Sam has been left with two black eyes." A video of the attack leaked online a day later.[37] The aftermath of the attack was aired during series 3 episode 10.

In May 2012, it was reported that original cast member Lauren Goodger had fallen out with the show's director for her bad timekeeping on set and her diva demands. Goodger appeared in the first four episodes of series 5, and was suspended from appearing in the show, however on 18 May 2012, it was confirmed that the issues had been resolved and that Goodger would be returning to the programme. Goodger returned in episode 9 and her absence from the show was not mentioned on screen.

On 1 December 2012, it was reported that The X Factor finalist Rylan Clark would appear on the TOWIE Live special episode and later return as a full-time cast member in 2013. Following the rumours Kirk Norcross and Mario Falcone reacted to the rumours with Falcone saying, "If he comes on Monday's live show, that's fine because it's all for charity, but if he comes on TOWIE' as a main character, I'm leaving. We hate him. He's a douche bag." Norcross commented, "I've met Rylan before and he's actually a really nice boy but when people think of Essex they just think of the abbreviation, the 'Shut-up', the 'Oh my god' - that was all Amy Childs and we don't want that."[38] On 3 December, following Falcone and Norcross's comments, Clark pulled out of his one-off appearance for the live episode and later commenting saying "TOWIE’s a great programme and I wish them all the best of luck But I can’t do the show because I’ve got commitments to the X Factor tour and I’ve got to be in rehearsals. I’ve never met Mario in my life, so I find it very unprofessional and ungentlemanly for him to go around talking about people he hasn’t even met, Anyone who cheats on his girlfriend that much isn’t worth my time."[39]


These viewing figures are taken from BARB.[40]

SeriesSeries premiere viewers
Series finale viewers
Series average

1 The ratings for this episode does not include ITV2+1.


The show is filmed just a few days in advance, and is narrated by Denise van Outen, who is from Basildon, Essex. The first series ran initially for four weeks, airing every Wednesday and Sunday. The show has been described by the Daily Mirror as Britain's answer to The Hills and Jersey Shore.[2] Series 2 began on 20 March 2011, once again airing every Wednesday and Sunday, but with longer episodes than Series 1. Series 2 also saw the departure of original cast member Amy Childs. The second series consisted of 14 episodes, ending on 4 May 2011. The series returned for a third series on 25 September 2011 and was the final series to feature two of the original cast members Mark Wright whose departure was seen in the final episode whilst Kirk Norcross departed off screen like Childs. The series ended on 9 November 2011.[41] On 2 December 2011 it was revealed that a large amount of the cast would not be returning for the fourth series in 2012 but would feature in the 2011 Christmas Special.[42] The fourth series began in January 2012. Digital Spy reported that the series had been renewed for a further four series following the Christmas Special and would air four 10-episode runs in 2012.[43] On 11 January it was reported that 12 new characters would be joining the cast.[44] In January 2013, ITV began auditioning for a new reality show entitled 'Sent To Coventry', intended as the northern antithesis of TOWIE (though the city is in the West Midlands).

Filming locations[edit]

Fresh Out of Essex[edit]

Fresh Out of Essex was a set of mini online 5–12 minute episodes that were uploaded onto the official website when the series was off air. 35 mini-episodes were uploaded, with two series airing in 2012. The series never returned for 2013.


In December 2011 the show's current cast released a cover of the Wham! classic Last Christmas, with their own unique version of the show's theme song 'The Only Way Is Up' as the single's B-side. The original, by Yazz, spent five weeks at number one in 1988. All profits from the single go to Text SANTA, a major new charity initiative set up by ITV, which aims to raise money and awareness for a group of charities, including Crisis, Samaritans and Great Ormond Street Hospital.[45]

The official video for the single premiered on 1 December at 11 pm on ITV2 and featured Jessica Wright taking lead vocals alongside Lauren and Gemma. The video shows the current cast from series 3 singing in the studio with clips of the Lauren, Mark and Lucy love triangle from series 1. Half of the current cast, including main singers on the single Jessica Wright and James Argent, performed the single on the final episode of the Text Santa TV series.


SingleYearPeak chart positionsAlbum
(featuring Joey Essex)
2011non-album singles
"Last Christmas"
(featuring cast of series 3)
"Dance All Night"
(Jessica Wright)
(Jessica Wright)
2013TBAnon-album singles

DVD releases[edit]

SeasonDate released# of episodes# of discsSpecial features
The Complete First Series28 March 20111122010 Christmas Special
The Complete Second Series26 September 2011143Chapter Selections
The Complete Third Series20 January 20121532011 Christmas Special
The Complete Fourth Series7 May 2012102Chapter Selections
The Complete Fifth Series1 October 2012112The Only Way Is Marbs Special
The Complete Sixth Series8 October 2012102Chapter Selections
The Complete Seventh Series18 February 20131121 episode of 2012 Christmas Special

International broadcasting[edit]

Series 1-7 have been shown in Australia (with Series 8 to start in the first week of September 2013) and Series 1-4 have been shown in New Zealand on LifeStyle You channel on Foxtel. Series 1–6 are available in the United States on video-on-demand site Hulu on HuluPlus. The show airs in Israel on yes Drama. Series 1 has been shown in South Africa (June 2013).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grace Dent's TV OD - Review, The Guardian, 23 October 2010.
  2. ^ a b Huddson, Polly (10 December 2010). "The Only Way Is Essex: Our guide to the jaw-dropping new TV show". Daily Mirror. 
  3. ^ a b c Eriksen, Alanah. "There's a new Captain in Essex: Ricky Rayment will be TOWIE's leading man... but he's no Mark Wright". Daily Mail (London). 
  4. ^ "The Only Way Is Marbs pictures see TOWIE stars show off bikini bodies". Metro. 
  5. ^ "'The Only Way Is Essex' renewed for four more series". Digital Spy. 13 November 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "TOWIE stars to face axe unless they stop being boring!". Telly Mix. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Eames, Tom (8 February 2013). "'The Only Way Is Essex' movie to be filmed in Dubai?". Digital Spy. 
  8. ^ a b Twitter / kirk_official: Jst 2 let every 1 no I have
  9. ^ a b Twitter / debbietowie: For everyone who has been asking
  10. ^ a b The Only Way is Essex series 9 air date revealed | Radio Times
  11. ^ a b c Gary Lineker's brother Wayne joins 'The Only Way is Essex' - The Only Way Is Essex News - Reality TV - Digital Spy
  12. ^ TOWIE lovebirds Lucy Mecklenburgh and Mario Falcone split AGAIN after he 'cheats with Sugar Hut Honey' | Mail Online
  13. ^ Joey Essex and Sam Faiers to quit TOWIE - to be the next Katie Price and Peter Andre - Mirror Online
  14. ^ Twitter / lucy_meck: At the End of the day there
  15. ^ 'The Only Way Is Vegas' date confirmed - The Only Way Is Essex News - Reality TV - Digital Spy
  16. ^ a b "The Only Way Is Essex – Birds and Blokes". ITV. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  17. ^ Jasmin Walia - Filmography by TV series
  18. ^ Nadine Coyle to present 'Take Me Out' spinoff? - Showbiz News - Digital Spy
  19. ^ "'Only Way Is Essex' Kirk Norcross: 'I never liked Mark Wright' - The Only Way Is Essex News - TV". Digital Spy. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-22. 
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