TV insiders have suggested that all of the recent splits between the cast of The Only Way Is Essex have been a part of a publicity stunt for the ITV2 series. The reality show returns for a third run in September and bosses are said to be hoping all the relationship drama will help boost ratings.
The show, which first started last autumn, has become one of the channel's biggest hits with more than a million viewers tuning in to the digital channel to catch up on the latest goings on of the Essex guys and girls.
With a new series around the corner, recent splits between the show's couples have provided plenty of press coverage. Joey Essex, James Arg Argent and Kirk Norcross have all recently parted from their TOWIE girlfriends, with only Mark Wright's relationship with Lauren Goodger surviving the show's summer break - despite claims of cheating.
"They all seem to be breaking up - it seems a bit of a coincidence that it's happened before the stat of the next series," an insider told new! magazine.
The sources also suggested that Joey Essex's split from Sam Faiers could all have been to guarantee Joey a spot on the new series.
"There were rumours Joey wasn't appearing in series three, but this could make it more interesting," the insider added.