A reality too far? ITV 2 bosses ban booze on Towie Christmas episode


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The Independent Culture

A live Christmas episode of reality television show The Only Way Is Essex will not feature much in the way of festive cheer(s) after bosses banned stars from drinking alcohol.

ITV2 executives have reportedly imposed the teetotal policy to avoid things “kicking off” and “any funny business happening”, according to sources quoted in The Sun.

The cast are regulars on the Essex clubbing scene and are often caught by paparazzi photographers stumbling into taxis.

The sober celebration may include former Towie star Amy Childs, who famously left the show to appear on Celebrity Big Brother.

Sam Faiers said: "I'm really excited but so so nervous. It's going to be an amazing experience. Who knows what will happen... especially in Essex."

Co-star Mario Falcone said the cast would be "completely out of our comfort zone".

There will also be a one-off Christmas special on ITV2 the day before the live episode.

Soaps including Emmerdale and Coronation Street recently filmed live episodes to celebrate landmark shows - their 40th and 50th anniversaries respectively - but they are notoriously difficult to film and mistakes are easily made.

Towie's Lucy Mecklenburgh admitted the nerves would get to her, saying: "I don't know how we're going to do it. It's crazy. Personally I'm just really scared but I know it's exciting too."