The Only Way Is Essex is a British reality television series created by Ruth Wringley and Tony Wood, produced by Lime Pictures and based in Essex, England which shows "real people in modified situations, saying unscripted lines but in a structured way".
Welcome to the glamorous world of Essex, a series where viewers get a chance to delve into the real lives of some of the most gorgeous people around, in a living soap.
The characters who feature in this show are real people living their real lives. Viewers see the tears, the tantrums and the triumphs just like a real soap opera.
This is the place where nail bars, nightclubs and tanning salons are a big part of everybody's lives. It's all about expensive watches, designer clothing and champagne cocktails.
The series is filmed just a few days before transmission, so the cast is watching the show as it is shot. They find out exactly what other characters in the show are saying about them as well as discovering secrets that affect their lives.
Each episode contains the fallout from the previous episode and if you want to know more, events also unfold online every day.
There's Mark, a self confessed Mr Essex, club promoter and a serial womaniser. He's fit, he's gorgeous but it's complicated. Will he ever get back with his on-off girlfriend Lauren, who he says he says really loves, or will he continue to play the field?
Then there's Amy, a Jordan lookalike. She's looking for Mr Right but can she realise her dream of being the next Jordan and winning a lucrative modelling contract for classy underwear?
Kirk's a sexy young successful club owner. He really likes Amy but how can he win her heart?
Jessica is feisty and bright. She's in a girl band who dreams of getting to the top, but will she be the next Cheryl Cole?
Candy and Michael work behind the bar of Kirk's club Sugar Hut. They're great for a gossip. What secrets will they reveal and who will they name and shame over the next few weeks?
They're loud, they're proud and they're Essex. Meet them all and more in this living soap. It's not soap imitating life - this time, it's life imitating soap.
The series premiered in the UK on ITV2 on 10 October, 2010. After 12 seasons it moved to new sister channel ITVBe when the channel launched in October 2014.
The Only Way Is Essex premiered in South Africa on DStv's BBC Entertainment channel on Thursday 7 June 2012, at 20h30. After three seasons it moved to sister channel BBC Lifestyle, which began broadcasting back-to-back seasons from Season 1.
Episodes in Season 1 are half an hour in length. Subsequent seasons and specials are an hour in length.
Episode numbers listed in the transmission details include any specials aired during that season.