TOWIE stars earning just £50 a day

The stars of 'The Only Way Is Essex' are earning just £50 a day for their appearances on the show, despite the first episode of the second series drawing in a whopping 1.1 million viewers on Sunday (20.03.11)

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Amy Childs

Amy Childs

The stars of 'The Only Way Is Essex' are earning just £50 a day for their appearances on the show.

Despite the first episode of the second series drawing in a whopping 1.1 million viewers on Sunday (20.03.11), ITV2 bosses have only agreed to pay the reality TV stars - including Amy Childs, Mark Wright and Sam Faiers - just 32p over the national minimum wage for their time.

This comes after a stand-off between producers and the show's lead characters, who claimed the success of 'The Only Way Is Essex' had made it impossible for them to hold down full-time jobs.

An insider told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "The cast were really unhappy between the two series. Despite it being a reality show, they felt they deserved to get paid for their time.

"It's impossible for them to hold down full-time jobs while the series is going on, especially when there are scenes in their workplace, such as when Amy books another cast member into her salon. And Mark has to arrange important meetings about his club Deuces around his filming schedule.

"They didn't realise how much of an impact it would have on their lives, so they were determined to earn something out of it."

Mark - who ditched glamour girl Sam Faiers on Sunday night's show to try and make a final go of things with long-suffering ex-girlfriend Lauren Goodger - admitted he's not expecting to become a "millionaire" off his wages.

He said: "They argued that without the show, we wouldn't be where we are. Our argument was that we helped made the show what it was. We both had a point but we just wanted some acknowledgement for what we were doing.

"Now we are getting paid, yes. I'm not expecting to become a millionaire off my wages, but at least it leads to other things."

Meanwhile, show bosses have signed up a gay drag queen named Ashley to act as a bitchy rival to current star Harry Derbridge.

A source told the Daily Star newspaper: "Like all good drag queens he wants to steal the limelight. Poor Harry won't know what's hit him."

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