ITV TOWIE’s first ever Christmas special’s funniest moments – 11 years on

Bring your mind back to December 2010 – it was a simpler time when the words Brexit and Coronavirus hadn’t been invented yet – can you even imagine?

Prince William and Kate Middleton had just announced their engagement, David Cameron was Prime Minister, One Direction had finished third behind Matt Cardle and Rebecca Ferguson on The X Factor and Kara Tointon had won Strictly Come Dancing with fiancé Artem Chigvintsev.

Something else very important happened in that faithful month. The only way is for Essex to get her first Christmas special.

Here we take a walk in memory (thanks to Britbox’s 30-day free trial), to highlight the best and most ridiculous moments that were packed into the 43 minutes and 59 seconds …

The opening assembly



The only way is Essexmas has a lot of drama and pure chaotic energy

Denise Van Outen barely caught her breath after telling us “While some of the Christmas trees may be fake, these people are all real,” and we’re already seeing the magic of TV. Amy Childs displays a sign offering “back, sack and crackers” in her salon, while Mark Wright and James Argent enjoy a game of twister followed by some tree shopping.

We quickly discover that Arg and Lydia Bright don’t get along because she spends too much time with Mark. It may have been 11 years, but the pair are still very much on and off. The amount of fake tan they apply may have changed, but some things will always be the same and I’m oddly comforted.

The love triangle

2010 Mark Wright wouldn’t get away with the things he does in 2021, and I think it’s growth for women in reality TV. He is dating Lucy Mecklenburgh, as he sees his ex-girlfriend Lauren Goodger telling us repeatedly during the episode that “they’ve been together for nine years”. Tbf that is a long time.

Lucy and Lauren often get mad at each other, rather than the man who really does bad things, which is frustrating to watch. When one of the two cries instead of comforting him and apologizing, he tends to shout: “Why are you crying?” as if he didn’t understand the concept of being upset. Lucy ends up sobbing on a date at the pub, when Sam Faiers and Amy arrive, they notice her upset and say, “Good night”. It’s so chaotic that I just laughed.



Mark is dating Lauren, Lucy and Sam at the same time
Mark is dating Lauren, Lucy and Sam at the same time

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It appears that Mark has endless hours during the day as he is also writing to Sam Faiers saying, “Do you love me when you do me?”, To which she replies, “Are you saying that?” It turns out that she too sleeps with him. Earlier in the episode she was helping Lucy choose aftershave for Mark at The Perfume Shop. How these two are still friends in 2021 is wild!

A trip to Santa Claus

Amy asks the great man for “a designer watch, designer shoes, a footballer, a red Ferrari and world peace”.

Everything that nanny Pat does

Thank goodness for Nanny Pat providing lots of light relief during the episode. We see her stuffing a turkey and dressing up as a Christmas tree. He was the best and least troubled cast member.



Nanny Pat is our favorite part of the episode
Nanny Pat is our favorite part of the episode

Lauren’s extravagant work

Lauren meets her boss Adam Ryan (funny fact – he later appeared in Take Me Out, where he met his wife and little mom!) For coffee, and he tells her he needs to move to Dubai for work without. an obvious reason. Not sure what his role actually involves or what the business is (some kind of event company perhaps?), But when he refuses to go to Dubai he says it’s okay as long as you attend the Christmas party. It doesn’t make sense, but that’s okay.

Then she is plus one at a meeting at Arg’s house because we all take our clothes to our friend’s house.

Arg is apparently beside himself because Lydia is not responding to his messages and this is evidenced by the presence of tinsel, crackers and lights scattered on the sofa. When I’m sad, I also like to put Christmas decorations in unusual places.

Mr Darcy’s debut

To get back into Lydia’s good books, Arg buys her a micro-pig “like Victoria Beckham and Paris Hilton”, which turns out to be just an ordinary pig. It works though: they’re back on track. uff!



Mr Darcy made his TOWIE debut
Mr Darcy made his TOWIE debut

A look to the future

Jess Wright is part of a band called Lola and unfortunately one of the members decided to leave which is a shock as they booked a concert at Faces. They host auditions for a new member and future castmates Megan McKenna and Jasmin Walia compete for the coveted spot. The former wins the spot in the band and Mark chats about her. How many women does this guy need?



Megan makes her first TOWIE appearance in the first series when auditioning for LOLA
Megan makes her first TOWIE appearance in the first series when auditioning for LOLA

Maria struggles to get her words out

Maria Fowler is tasked with relaying the message to Lauren that Mark and Sam are out of the Christmas party flirting. Although everyone in the group ignores her as she tries to get him out. She has been described as an “extra” by Kirk Norcross and rejected by Joey Essex in future series – this girl really can’t take a break. Eventually she is given the floor and Lauren is furious. She confronts Mark and asks him who he would choose to be with forever at that point. He romantically tells her: “You because you are the simplest option”.



The Only Way is Essexmas has a dramatic ending
The Only Way is Essexmas has a dramatic ending

The dramatic ending

I haven’t missed an episode of TOWIE since it started in October 2010, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I thought my knowledge was pretty good, but it seems the hundreds of drama filled episodes made me forget this first series.

My jaw really dropped when, after telling Lauren he still loves her and would be back with her in a minute, she gets into a cab with Sam and the two kiss as the driver patiently waits for the destination. “Can you take me to Faces, please?” are the last words before the credits. You can understand why they won the BAFTA on Downton Abbey.

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