ITV defends itself against Belo's TOWIE claims

Brian Belo

Brian Belo

ITV has defended itself against claims it stole the idea for 'The Only Way Is Essex' from former 'Big Brother' star Brian Belo.

ITV has defended itself against claims it stole the idea for 'The Only Way Is Essex'.

The channel and Lime Pictures - who make the show - responded to a High Court writ issued by Brian Belo, 24, in London accusing them of copyright infringement and breach of confidence, saying he came up with the idea for the programme.

In 2007 Brian filmed the pilot for a show called 'Totally Essex', featuring pals including Amy Childs, 21, Mark Wright, 25, Sam Faiers, 21, and Kirk Norcross, 23, who went on to star in 'TOWIE'.

In legal papers submitted to the court, ITV and Lime Pictures claim the show, which they call a "dramality" - a mix of drama and reality - was their idea and Brian's pilot was a "fly on the wall" documentary.

The papers state: "A fundamental aspect of a 'dramality' show is that producers set up dramatic scenarios which are then filmed.

"Totally Essex was no more than individuals talking to the camera about themselves and their lifestyles, with occasional comments by a narrator and some music.

"Any notion of 'TOWIE' being created by the claimants is wholly misconceived."

Former 'TOWIE' star Amy - who quit the ITV2 reality show last year - has recently backed Brian's case, explaining she was part of the 'Big Brother' winner's pilot series.

She said: "My friend Brian Belo is suing the makers of 'The Only Way Is Essex', Lime Pictures, and ITV because he believes they nicked his idea for the show.

"I can't go into details about this for legal reasons, but I was part of Brian's TV idea, 'Totally Essex', and I'm sure lots of you have seen our embarrassing trailer on the internet.

"I've been good friends with Brian ever since and I know he's determined to win the case. We'll just have to see what happens."


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