Georgia Harrison has opened up on her experience of The Only Way Is Essex and what really happens behind the scenes.
The reality star, 28, first appeared on the show in the Ibiza special in 2014 as Fran Parman’s best friend.
She ended up in a love triangle with Lewis Bloor and Tom Pearce while on the show, before leaving and later appeared on Love Island in 2017.
Georgia has now shared how the unpredictable nature of filming TOWIE left cast members worrying about being sacked, and filming club scenes in the middle of the day.
Speaking to presenter Emma Conybeare and journalist Sarah Morton for Slingo’s gossip show Getting Lippy, she revealed some members of the cast would try to get into the ‘thick of the drama’ to further their individual careers.
Candid: Georgia Harrison has opened up on her experience of The Only Way Is Essex and what really happens behind the scenes
Georgia recalled: ‘I’m 28 now, I went on when I was 19. I think I definitely hadn’t evolved into the person I am now.
‘I was definitely less equipped to be filmed and aired to millions of people. I don’t know, it was a learning lesson at a good time in my life.’
Asked whether the show is scripted, she said: ‘No. I think a lot of people have this vision that behind reality TV suddenly [the producers] go, “Cut,” and we’re all just having a coffee and reading our script. People just wouldn’t get away with it. It would come out.’
Georgia then spoke about the hectic filming schedule, explaining: ‘The reason there is so much drama and it is so intense is because of the dynamic of the show.
‘If you’re filming, it’s because you’re having some form of drama, and if you’re not filming, then you’re worried that you’re going to get the sack.
‘Say it’s been like three weeks of filming and you’ve only been invited to the group things and you haven’t had much of a storyline, you think, one I’m not getting paid as much because I’m not filming as much.
‘Two, I’m just a bit of a spare part, maybe I should be doing more.
‘And I think that’s what causes so much drama because you’re left with a group of people who, to get ahead in their career, need to be in the thick of the drama.’
Throwback: The reality star, 28, first appeared on the show in the Ibiza special in 2014 as Fran Parman’s best friend (pictured on the show with Georgia Kousoulou)
Georgia denied being one of these stars saying: ‘I didn’t [ever go to the producers with a storyline], but if I had I might have lasted a bit longer.
‘I don’t know if it’s different now, but when I used to be on there, we would get paid per day that we film.
‘Everyone would film on a Sunday or a Wednesday because it was a big birthday at Nanny Pat’s or something like that.
‘You were guaranteed that money, then all the other days would just be if you’re filming, say you’re going on a date or you happen to be filming that day, you’d get more money.
‘Also, you get told if and when you’re filming the night before, so you can’t have another job really unless they’re extremely flexible.
‘My mum was saying the other day that I’d be sitting there, get a text at like 11.30pm like you need to be at this party tomorrow, it’s Diwali themed go and get yourself the appropriate attire and you’d be like, “How am I going to do that? I’m skint at the moment and it’s tomorrow?!”
She added: ‘Because there’s a lot to film you have to start early and I have had times where I’m in a bodycon dress and heels in Sugar Hut at like 11am and been like, “this just doesn’t feel right.” It feels like I got here last night and just never left.’
Other members of TOWIE have come out since appearing on the show to talk about filming.
Another to deny the show is fake is Danielle Armstrong, who appeared between 2013 and 2020 on and off.
During an appearance on Vicky Pattison’s The Secret To podcast, Danielle admitted she found it ‘infuriating’ whenever she was asked if the show was real.
She explained: ‘I absolutely hated that people got to see so much of my real life and the emotions.
‘The biggest question I’m sure you had with Geordie Shore and what I had was, “Is it real? Is it real?”
‘That used to infuriate me because I’d think, “Do you actually think I can act? Did you not see me crying every Sunday and Wednesday on ITV?”
‘We definitely can’t act. Well, some I’m sure can, but I definitely couldn’t and it was all so real.’
Georgia said: ‘The reason there is so much drama and it is so intense is because of the dynamic of the show’ (pictured with Georgia Kousoulou and Lydia Bright in 2014)
Last year, Pete Wick echoed her comments on the Saving Grace podcast, saying: ‘It’s never been scripted, babe. Never.’
However, he admitted that producers did arrange ‘bump-ins’ between cast members in random locations.
Chloe Brockett said the same thing in 2021 in an Instagram Q&A, saying: ‘TOWIE is 100% real.
‘Of course we are put into scenes because how else would we bump into each other, but I always try to be my authentic self, regardless of the consequences.’
Chloe Sims reiterated this, explaining: ‘On TOWIE, a bump in is when you just bump into someone that you’ve got confrontation with.
‘They’ll just say to you, “Look, we’re rolling, you’re walking, you’re gonna bump into him and whatever happens happens.”
‘For a TV show that can be quite tricky, because that could have been, like, a two second scene.’
Speaking about a bump in between her and Pete, she said: ‘But we ended up having a conversation, and therefore there is a scene for TOWIE.
‘Had I decided to leave the scene and walk straight out, that would have been fine as well.’
Executive producer of TOWIE, Sarah Tyekiff told Vice: ‘It is unscripted. We don’t tell people what they’re going to say, and sometimes people walk into scenes and they don’t know they’re going to be there.
‘It was quite hard to work out how much was scripted and how much was real until I got to Lime, and then I was pleasantly surprised that it was authentic.
‘Actually, you watch the stuff and it’s so real because the cast are so brilliant, and give themselves to it so much.’
She admitted that the when a new series of TOWIE is about to start filming, cast members spill all their recent drama to producers.
She said: ‘The execs will sit down with them in the office one-on-one, and find out what’s coming up in their lives over the next three months.’
‘What the Cast Liaison Team are working out on the ground are the feelings of everyone.
‘Who’s rubbing who up the wrong way, who wants to date someone. They will be the first to know if someone’s got the hots for someone else – more than the cast members even, sometimes.
‘They’ll be watching them flirt over the tea station or whatever, so they’re the eyes and ears on the ground. And they bring the story back to the story producer room, who then put it together to make the show.’
Speculation: Over the years there has been plenty of speculation as to whether the show is fake or not but cast members have always spoken out in defence of the show
One former castmember who remained anonymous spoke to the Daily Star in 2017 and said: ‘You feel that because you signed up for it, you have just got to go along with it.
‘There is stuff that you would much rather stay private, but to the producers every thing is fair game, and they will sweet talk you into it so you end up thinking telling the world your darkest secrets is the best idea ever. It opens you up to a lot of attacks from the public.”
They added: ‘Production call, ask us what is going on in our lives, and then set everything up for the camera.
‘So if we say, “I am a tiny bit annoyed with someone,'” they will arrange for us to bump into them. Or they will call us and say, “We need you to talk about this certain topic with a certain person”. It is actually quite exhausting.’
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