Joey Essex quits TOWIE
Joey Essex has told show bosses he is leaving 'The Only Way Is Essex' ahead of his appearance on 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!'
Joey Essex has quit 'The Only Way Is Essex'.
The 23-year-old reality TV star - who joined the show in its second series in 2011 - has told show bosses he no longer wants to be on the programme as he hopes his forthcoming appearance on 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!' will boost his career in the way it did when his former castmate Mark Wright took part in 2011.
A source said: "Joey dropped the bombshell the other day.
"He loves being on the show and it has made him a star. But lots of people have been offering him other stuff.
"He's seen what the jungle did for Mark Wright and he wants a slice of the action.
"'TOWIE' is a good craic but the money isn't good and you're basically just a pawn in the producers' game.
"Now he's taken control of his future."
A spokesperson for the star - whose farewell scenes will air tonight (13.11.13) - confirmed he won't feature in the show's Christmas special but insisted he could be back in the future.
They said: "We have a couple of other projects planned for Joey and he will not be available for the Christmas special this year.
"Joey loves 'TOWIE' and the opportunities the show has given him.
"The producers have said that the door is always open to him, which he is very grateful for, and he hopes to return at some stage in the near future."
And show chiefs are hopeful he could make a return at some stage.
A source added: "The show now operates an open-door policy on cast members who appear on other shows during breaks from filming - as was the case with Mario Falcone, who appeared on 'Celebrity Big Brother' ahead of series 10."