ITV bosses announce six more series of 'TOWIE'

ITV bosses have announced six more series of 'The Only Way Is Essex' which will take the show into early 2017

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Mario Falcone

TOWIE star Mario Falcone

ITV bosses have announced six more series of 'The Only Way Is Essex'.

The reality TV show - which airs on ITVBe - will now run until the start of 2017 Derek McLean from TV production company Lime Pictures has confirmed.

He said: "We are so thrilled to announce we have been commissioned for six more series of TOWIE. It is not only the leading show for ITVBe, it is a huge priority for ITV in general."

Derek added show bosses are keen for the reality series to become as big as ITV's most popular soaps.

He said: "We want Towie to become an ongoing, real-life soap opera. It is just as important to ITVBe as 'Coronation Street' or 'Emmerdale' are to ITV."

Meanwhile show favourite Mario Falcone's future on the series still hangs in the balance.

The 27-year-old star was suspended from the show last week after posting photos of himself promoting diet pills on his Twitter account.

While Derek confessed the 'TOWIE' crew hope that Mario will return, he insists the show will be "perfectly fine" without him.

He told The Sun newspaper: "We have to be very strict about that. We hope Mario will be back but, if he isn't, we will be perfectly fine with that."

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