The Only Way Is Essex 2018 air date: what you need to know about series 22

TOWIE is returning to ITVBe soon with The Only Way is Barcelona – but who's in the cast and what's going to happen? Here's what we know so far...

The Only Way Is Essex - series 21

We don’t have long to wait for the brand new series of The Only Way Is Essex.

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The hit ITVBe reality series following the cast’s loves, lives and drams is coming back for series 22 in 2018. Here’s everything you need to know:

When is TOWIE back on TV?

The TOWIE lot are swapping Brentwood for Barcelona as the ITVBe series kicks off with a special called The Only Way is Barcelona on Sunday 25th March 2018, at the new time of 9pm.

Who’s in The Only Way is Essex?

The final cast hasn’t yet been confirmed, but we can almost certainly expect to see veterans Gemma Collins and James ‘Arg’ Argent returning to continue their relationship that goes on and off more often than a light switch.

Megan McKenna previously said that she wanted to have a break from the show, but we’re yet to find out whether Lauren Pope, Chloe Sims, Mario Falcone and Bobby Norris will be back.

James 'Arg' Argent and Gemma Collins
James ‘Arg’ Argent and Gemma Collins (Getty)

Reports have suggested that Maddie Hooper, Ruby Lacey, Amber Dowding, Chris Clark and Mike Hassini are not going to be returning for the new series – but watch this space.

Why is there only one episode of TOWIE a week?

Back in December, RadioTimes.com exclusively revealed that The Only Way Is Essex would return for two new series in 2018, although the number of episodes airing per week would be cut.

The show’s format is being refreshed and instead of airing 50-minute instalments on both Wednesdays and Sundays, TOWIE will now only broadcast one hour-long episode per week.

The show will also be returning to its weekly fast turnaround filming schedule with production company Lime Pictures commissioned to make 21 episodes of the Essex reality show to air throughout 2018.

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The Only Way is Essex airs Sundays on ITVBe