Joey EssexThe Only Way Is Essex will return for its eighth series later this month.

ITV have confirmed that the reality show will return at the end of February with recording beginning a week before the series begins on ITV2.

TOWIE remains one of the channel’s most popular shows despite losing a number of high profile cast members such as Amy Childs, Mark Wright, Lauren Goodger and Harry Derbidge.

Personalities set to feature in the new series include Joey Essex, Kirk Norcross, James Argent, Jessica Wright, Lauren Pope and Chloe Sims.

The Only Way Is Essex launched on ITV2 in 2010 and has prompted criticism from residents of the county who feel the series portrays a negative and stereotypical view of them. In 2011 the series won the Audience Award at the BAFTA Television Awards. The success of the show prompted E4 to launch Made in Chelsea and the ill-fated Desperate Scousewives.

Various cast members have gone on to appear on other programmes such as Celebrity Big Brother, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here, Splash! and Dancing on Ice.

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