TOWIE cast visit stunning historic Essex estate

FANS of hit TV show The Only Way is Essex may have noticed something very familiar about Sunday’s special episode... that’s because it was filmed at one of the area’s most stunning country estates.

The final episode of series five of the unscripted reality show, which airs on ITV, was shot at Spains Hall in Finchingfield last Wednesday.

All the larger-than-life characters of the show – the ‘faces of Essex’ – were there including Joey Essex, Mario Falcone, Lauren Goodger, Gemma Collins and Nanny Pat, and all seemed to be enjoy taking in the sunshine and the stunning surroundings as they prepared to go in front of the camera.

The 200-plus crew, who rushed around to chase off paparazzi and prepare the hall, started arriving at around 8.30am on the Wednesday morning and stayed into the early hours of Thursday.

They helped transform the main dining room at Spains Hall for the occasion, with red, white and blue balloons arranged into Union Jacks ready for the Jubilee episode.

Milly Fraser, location producer, described the venue as the perfect location.

“Spains Hall is in a beautiful location and it went really well with the theme we were going for,” she told the Broadcast, who were invited down to watch the action unfold.

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“We wanted a grand hall that was very British – even though it’s called Spains Hall. Most importantly though, it’s in Essex.”

Perma-tans and stiletto heels may have been a change of pace for the historic Grade II-listed building, but Spains Hall owner Archie Ruggles-Brise, who organised the day with ITV and Lime Pictures which films the show, said he was delighted to host the cast and crew.

“This is a great opportunity for viewers to see the real Essex countryside with the magnificent back drop that is Spains Hall – I’m sure the atmospheric feel of Spains will come through in the show,” he said ahead of Sunday’s screening.

“It has been our pleasure to have everyone and we would have them back at any time.”

For those that didn’t watch Sunday’s episode, the romance between Gemma Collins and James Argent, which has been bubbling under the surface for months, finally came to the fore as the pair shared a cheeky kiss.

Meanwhile, Lydia Bright found a new love interest in Tom Kilbey.