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TOWIE confirms huge cast cull ahead of new series

TOWIE confirms huge cast cull ahead of new series
© ITV
At least 10 members of the TOWIE cast are reportedly dropped ahead of the new series starting this autumn.

Producers of The Only Way Is Essex have confirmed that a large number of cast members have been dropped ahead of the new series starting this autumn.

In a statement, the ITVBe show said that the next series will "follow a smaller group of cast members" after the most recent run featured 47 different participants.

Although the identities of those axed is currently unconfirmed, a report in The Sun said that at least 10 big names have been dropped although Chloe Sims, her sisters Frankie and Demi, and Gatsby are all safe and confirmed to return.

The official statement said: "After more than ten fabulous years following the lives of our ever-growing cast, TOWIE will be evolving with some changes. As it looks ahead to future series' to come, the next instalment of our BAFTA award winning show returns to Essex to follow a smaller group of cast members.

"This change allows our cast more time to film their real lives, showing more of their personal passions and professions, alongside their strong bonds and dynamics with family and friends.

"Those who won't appear regularly on-screen next series will always be part of the TOWIE family and we wholeheartedly thank them for sharing their lives with us in recent years.

"As always, their wellbeing is of paramount importance to us and we will continue to offer welfare support if needed to all past and present TOWIE cast."

TOWIE is expected to return for series 29 in September.

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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
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RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
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> Today's schedule in full