Belfast Telegraph

Where are the stars of The Only Way Is Essex now?

As the reality show returns for a milestone 25th series, this is what the show’s biggest stars have done since leaving.

Towie star Gemma Collins attending the National Television Awards 2019 (Matt Crossick/PA)
Towie star Gemma Collins attending the National Television Awards 2019 (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

The Only Way Is Essex is returning to our screens on Sunday night.

Chloe Sims, Pete Wicks, Chloe Brockett and a whole host of the show’s stars will return, along with a cameo from Gemma Collins.

Love Island’s Olivia Attwood is also joining the ITVBe programme and is expected to spark conflict when she involves herself in Sims’ relationship with Dan Edgar.

But what happened to the show’s biggest stars? Here we run down Towie’s best-known characters and what they have done since leaving.

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– Mark Wright

Wright starred in the first three series of Towie before going on to appear on the eleventh series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! where he finished as runner-up, and the twelfth series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The former footballer now spends much of his time in the US as a presenter on entertainment show Extra.

The job leads him to interview many big-name celebrities and over the last two years he has shared pictures with stars including Kim Kardashian West, Mark Wahlberg and Tom Cruise.

The 32-year-old married former Coronation Street actress Michelle Keegan, also 32, in 2015 and recently told how he wanted to settle down and have children.

Mario Falcone (Ian West/PA)

– Mario Falcone

In 2015 Towie’s half-Italian, half-Argentine bad boy announced that he was leaving the show after four years in the spotlight.

Mario – who also appeared in Celebrity Big Brother in 2013 – was no stranger to controversy on the programme.

The 31-year-old was suspended in June 2014 after he was seen taking drugs and was suspended again in 2015 for promoting diet pills, which was against ITV rules.

He was previously engaged to newly-pregnant Lucy Mecklenburgh but they split in 2012.

Since his exit from the show, Falcone proposed to fiancee Becky Miesner, who later gave birth to their first child Parker Jax in 2018.

Gemma Collins

Romford-born Collins, 38, worked as a used-car saleswoman before rising to fame in Towie.

She first appeared on the show in 2011 and earned a legion of fans for her no-nonsense attitude and unwavering support of her female friends throughout their relationship troubles.

However, it was her social media presence which led her to become a well-known meme and earned her the nickname The GC.

Two spectacular tumbles cemented her place in the public consciousness.

In 2017, she fell through a trapdoor during the Radio 1 Teen Awards as she presented an award to Love Island. She later joked that the gaffe left her feeling like Bridget Jones.

Earlier this year, during a stint on ITV’s Dancing On Ice, a trip on the rink saw her go viral in both the UK and US.

Alongside her professional partner Matt Evers, she was the fifth contestant to be eliminated in the series.

Her on-off relationship with fellow Towie star James “Arg” Argent has also made headlines, with the pair regularly rowing on social media.

She is returning to cameo in the forthcoming 25th series of the show.

Joey Essex (PA)

Joey Essex

Essex, his real name, first appeared in Towie as a supporting cast member in series two alongside his cousin, Chloe Sims.

But by series three the 29-year-old was promoted to the main cast and played a major role in the reality show until his departure in 2013.

The same year he secured a place in the Australian jungle and competed on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, coming fourth.

The next year he picked up his own show, Educating Joey Essex, which was narrated by This Morning star Phillip Schofield and saw the TV star interview political heavyweights.

Essex led an on-off relationship with fellow Towie star Sam Faiers until 2014 when they split for good after becoming engaged twice.

In 2016, Essex began dating Made In Chelsea star Stephanie Pratt after the pair appeared alongside one another on Celebs Go Dating. The unlikely couple split within weeks.



From Belfast Telegraph