Belfast Telegraph

TOWIE first planned for Dorset

Television bosses originally planned to make hit reality show The Only Way Is Essex in Dorset.

The ITV show, which has made stars of participants including Mark Wright and Amy Childs, was going to be set among a group of surfers on a Bournemouth beach.

Television executive Ruth Wrigley said she moved the show after a suggestion from ITV commissioning editor Claire Zolkwer.

She said: "It was set on a beach in this surfy resort in Bournemouth.

"There was this surfy scene going on and it was Claire who said 'You know what, if you can set it in Essex I might be interested'."

The show, which Ms Wrigley described as "stage-managed reality", won a television Bafta earlier this year.

Ms Zolkwer said the show was nearly called Totally Essex but she got the inspiration for the title while going through the music on her iPod and finding the Yazz track The Only Way Is Up.

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