TV series ‘The Only Way is Essex’ heading to BBC in South Africa


BBC Worldwide Channels has acquired the BAFTA award winning reality TV series ‘The Only Way is Essex’ for BBC Entertainment in South Africa.

A consistent ratings hit in the UK, The Only Way is Essex introduced Britain to the vajazzle and catch-phrases such as ‘reem’ (lovely) and ‘jel’ (jealous) have found their way into the everyday vernacular.

Billed as the UK’s answer to The Hills and narrated by Essex-born actress and presenter Denise Van Outen (Any Dream Will Do), The Only Way is Essex is produced by UK independent Lime Pictures. Already a BAFTA award winner, the series has also won two Broadcast Digital Awards in the UK including ‘Best entertainment programme’ and was recently nominated in the category for ‘Best reality programme’ at the 2012 National Television Awards.

Premiering on BBC Entertainment from June 2012, The Only Way is Essex follows the lives and loves of a group of 20-somethings as they work and party in and around Essex. In spite of its close proximity to London, Essex residents are famed for having their own very distinctive sense of style and attitude. Cosmetic surgery, fake tans and designer clothes are commonplace as every day is another catwalk down Brentwood high street…

Club promoter and local lothario Mark has a fiery on/off relationship with childhood sweetheart Lauren Goodger. Now dating fashion designer Lucy, is Mark a one-woman man or will the temptation prove too much? One woman who always has a place in Mark’s heart is the lovable Nanny Pat who often pops round to feed him up with her famous sausage plate. Mark has a strong ‘bromance’ with best friend and club singer James 'Arg' Argent but things are frosty with Arg’s girlfriend Lydia as the boys’ close friendship often comes before their relationship. Local club owner Kirk is head over heels for beautician and vajazzle queen Amy Childs but she seems more interested in hanging out with her best friend glamour model Sam and cousin Harry. Can he win her over?

Commenting on the new acquisition, Jon Farrar VP Programming EMEA, BBC Worldwide Channels said, “The Only Way is Essex has been the stand-out success in the reality TV genre in recent years. Brilliantly produced by Lime Pictures, viewers in the UK just can’t seem to get enough of the tears, tans and dramas in the characters lives and I’m sure that our viewers in South Africa will be just as hooked”.