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Our reporter gets exclusive look at world of TV’s Only Way is Essex

PUBLISHED: 16:00 19 February 2011 | UPDATED: 16:16 19 February 2011

TV HOPEFULS: Edwina Ellington, left, with Natalie Burridge at the audition

TV HOPEFULS: Edwina Ellington, left, with Natalie Burridge at the audition

Archant

REALITY TV show The Only Way is Essex, which threw the likes of Amy Childs and Mark Wright into the limelight, may have drawn mixed reviews from critics but there is no denying its popularity.

As the rest of the country awaits a second series with bated breath, the Recorder’s very own Edwina Ellington couldn’t believe her luck when she was picked from thousands of hopefuls to audition for a part.

Here our intrepid reporter gives you the scoop on the behind-the-scenes banter at the casting.

WHO WOULDN’T want to be an Only Way Is Essex girl? But on reading the application form to appear in the next series of the hit ITV2 show I wondered if I would cut the mustard.

“Why is your life interesting?” it asked, and I typed “because I enjoy spending time with tanned and beautiful people”.

“They’ll see straight through that!” said colleague Zjan Shirinian. But two days later I was invited to an audition.

I had begun the transformation from pasty journalist to orange Essex girl in the office toilets, and as I applied the fake tan I heard a cough behind me.

“Uh, is this yours?” a lady said, holding up a piece of my ratty hair extensions which had somehow fallen out.

I blushed and made a swift exit from the toilets, where I kept my risque outfit under wraps in a big coat.

When I arrived at Nu Bar, a string of photographers from national papers greeted me.

“Come on love, smile!” they said, as they snapped away while I kept my face down.

On entry to the bar, I was greeted by blonde twins, sporting matching peroxide mullets and bright pink Barbie handbags – I felt out of my depth, but continued the act.

Seconds after sitting down with my Malibu and coke I got chatting to Natalie Burridge, a clothes buyer from Colchester.

“I am so nervous!” she beamed, before revealing ITV2 had called her after seeing her clubbing with the show’s love rat Mark Wright on Facebook.

“They asked me on the phone if I could act, which I thought was strange,” she revealed. “But I thought it would be a laugh to come!”

A leggy blonde floated in, sporting the name badge “Bluebell Farey”, propped up by four boyband look-a-likes, and glancing at the cameras, a twinge of fear turned my stomach.

Elsewhere, people were parading their chihuahuas in handbags, as wafts of perfume and fake tan filled the club.

Before I knew it, I was whisked in front of a camera, where I flashed my most posey Essex smile, and spoke about everything that is so fantastic about this diverse county – home to beautiful people, buzzing night life, and one of the biggest reality TV shows.

Did I make it? Watch this space.


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