Five Stars Of 'The Only Way Is Essex' Face The Axe

The Only Way Is Essex is expected to axe five of its biggest stars in an attempt to freshen up the show.

TOWIE favourites Harry Derbridge and Sam Faiers, who made the catchphrase "shurrrup" famous are set to get the boot, along with Maria Fowler and Lauren Pope, reports The Sun.

Ladies man, and Amy Child's ex-boyfriend, Kirk Norcross will also be missing from for the fourth series in January, as he's signed up to appear in The Bachelor on Channel 5.

Producers of the Bafta-winning show are reportedly already scouring Essex for new perma-tanned talent.

The axing of Lauren Pope will leave Lauren Goodger without an on screen best mate and her ex -boyfriend Mark Wright also recently quit the show to take on the I'm A Celebrity jungle.

An insider told the paper: "There is a big TOWIE shake-up happening for series four. Bosses are keen to keep the format fresh.

"Producers have already been scouting for great people around Essex. Kirk has been axed and won't be seen in the Christmas special. Others set to get the chop include Sam Faiers, Lauren Pope, Harry Derbidge and Maria Fowler.

"This is basically due to their storylines coming to a natural end and the fact that some of them are just not that popular with viewers."

A spokesperson for the show, keeping their cards close to their chest, told us: "We will announce the series 4 cast next year when the new series begins."

As well as a shake-up of the cast, yesterday it was revealed the TOWIE stars have been banned from having their photographs taken with their reality TV rivals from Made In Chelsea, after producers worried they were becoming too close.

SLIDESHOW: The TOWIE stars at their best...

TOWIE Stars at their best