Mario Falcone and Lucy Mecklenburgh take break from TOWIE

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Mario Falcone and Lucy Mecklenburg

Mario Falcone and Lucy Mecklenburgh

'The Only Way Is Essex' couple Mario Falcone and Lucy Mecklenburgh have temporarily quit the show to focus on their relationship.

Mario Falcone and Lucy Mecklenburgh are taking a "short break" from 'The Only Way Is Essex'.

The on/off couple - who recently rekindled their relationship following allegations of Mario's infidelity - have decided to take time out from the ITV2 reality show to work on their romance.

A source close to the programme told MailOnline: "They're just taking a short break to get away following all of the cheating rumours."

This comes after the pair branded the producers "liars", claiming scripted soap operas were more realistic than 'TOWIE', and they had a meeting with producers to discuss their future on the show last Friday (08.03.13).

The Italian hunk and his glamorous girlfriend are uncertain when they will return, and viewers witnessed the pair's final scenes on Sunday night (10.03.13).

Mario - who last week spoke for the first time about his secret battle with depression - was seen telling his mum that he would be taking time away to focus on his relationship in a scene which was filmed on Saturday (09.03.13).

Asked when he would return, he sighed: "Dunno yet mum. We'll just see what happens."

The source added: "Mario filmed that scene yesterday [Saturday] but the show will catch up with them both when they're back."

Meanwhile, the rest of the cast have been given a £40 daily pay rise after moaning they weren't earning enough, taking their daily salary up to £120.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "It is not mega money but bosses have been making a real effort to have a better relationship with the cast members who ultimately come up with the storylines that make the show."

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