With the explosive return of TOWIE on Sunday night (September 12th), fans were hooked on the season premiere with the dramatic revelation of Chloe Brockett’s fling with James Locke.
But there were many familiar faces missing from the cast with the show undergoing its biggest shake-up ever.
Find out which stars were missing from the TOWIE lineup below.
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Why was there a casting cut on The Only Way is Essex?
According to Essex Live, the casting cut of some of the show’s regulars allows TOWIE to “go back to basics” and focus on a smaller core cast of characters.
The news was also shared on Instagram with the caption: “This change allows our cast more time to film their real lives, showing more of their personal passions and professions, alongside their strong bonds and dynamics with family and friends.”
TOWIE favourite, Chloe Sims also explained the show’s reason for axing original cast members saying “I think it’s how open you are and need to be. I don’t think the difference between the cast who have left and the cast who have stayed is anything to do with being legends. I think it’s how much you’re willing to share; how raw you’re willing to be”.
She then went on to joke that there was no doubt in her mind that she would be returning saying: “I’m Chloe Sims. You’re joking. I’ve been here for 11 years. I wasn’t scared about the cull, let’s put it that way.”
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Which stars were axed from TOWIE?
Producers decided to axe a whopping 10 cast members from the show ahead of its 14th series leaving fans wondering who exactly got the chop.
Reality TV faves, Harry Derbidge, Tom McDonnell, Courtney Green and Chloe Meadows are among those to be axed from the show.
Harry was actually an original cast member on the show but did not make the cut for this year’s series, alongside Courtney and Chloe who both joined in 2016 and have appeared in more than 140 episodes of TOWIE. They were both said to be “gutted” when they were told that they would not be returning.
Tom was a newer member of the Essex reality show having joined only two years ago before receiving the boot.
Harry Lee, Kelsey Stratford and Clelia Theodorou were also told not to return to the show. Alongside Nicole Bass who was said to be “devastated” about the casting decision.
Ella Rae Wise who had an onscreen romance with tattooed hunk, Pete Wicks has also been let go from the series.
The last remaining star to get the chop was Rem Larue, and he only featured on the show for one series. Whilst on the show, he dated Clelia who also got the boot.
Fans were relieved that the likes of James Locke, Chloe Sims and Chloe Brockett were still starring on the hit show. Particularly, as James’ ex Yazmin Oukhellou is set to have it out with Lockie over his fling with Chloe Brockett.
Fans react to casting shake-up
On Twitter user wrote: “Beyond excited for Tomo’s show and the whole series. Beyond brilliant is Towie and its cast plus maybe some newbies?
Gutted some of the regular stock won’t be staying though”.
Another tweeted “#TOWIE @OnlyWayIsEssex so you sacked all the cast that where connected to Amber and Chloe B and left all the bullies that lick the Simms sisters asses. ITV gets worse and worse as the months go on. Y didn’t y’all just hire no cast members. All show looks boring and scripted.”
While another Twitter user was particularly unhappy about the ‘Be Kind’ message shown on screen after the treatment of Chloe Brockett throughout the entire episode.
WATCH TOWIE EVERY SUNDAY AT 9 PM ON ITVBE