Stat of the day: £1.4bn

Reality TV haters, look away now. The news has landed that TOWIE - or The Only Way Is Essex for the uninitiated - has generated £1.4bn for the UK economy.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

This might come as a surprise to all those for whom 'vajazzling' sounds like a sparkling wine from La Mancha, but TOWIE has become a high street phenomenon. 

Sales of false eyelashes, fake tan, acrylic nails, white stilettos, diamante watches - and, of course, vajazzling (the application of a myriad of dazzling jewels to the, er... nether regions) have soared since the show first aired in 2010.

Many young shoppers are spending in the region of £100 each to mimic the TOWIE stars, fueling a 567% rise in revenue for the makers of Nailene Nails (the false talons of choice for Amy Childs and her TOWIE pals) while sales of stick-on lashes have rocketed by 249%. And, according to, its 'special' crystals are flying off the online shelves too: it's seen a 400% sales boost since TOWIE's Sam Faiers had the procedure on the ITV2 show.

And the TOWIE stars themselves are doing their bit to put a few bob into public coffers. Lauren Goodger, the sleb behind fake tanning range Lauren's Way, has branched out with a new fashion range. Her BFF Lauren Pope is also something of a beauty mogul: her hair extension firm Hair Rehab London has been trading successfully since 2007. Michael Norcross, the entrepreneur behind the Sugarhut nightclub, is rumoured to be converting The Grand hotel in Leigh-on-Sea into a boutique hotel. And then there's Mark Wright, owner of bars and clubs from his native Essex to the Costa del Sol.

The £1.4bn figure puts the TOWIE stars ahead of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, who is rumoured to have generated some £1bn for the economy. But, as TOWIE's own Joey Essex would say, 'Don't be jel, be reem, Your Majesty.'


Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Books for the weekend: Daniel Goleman, Jack Welch, Nelson Mandela

Beaverbrooks CEO Anna Blackburn shares her reading list.

What happens next: COVID-19 lessons from Italian CEOs

Part I: Marco Alvera, chief executive of €15bn Lombardy-based energy firm Snam, on living with...

Coronavirus communications: Dos and don'ts

Uncertainty and isolation make it more important than ever to be seen, to be heard...

Leadership lessons: Mervyn Davies, former CEO of Standard Chartered and trade minister

"People talk about pressure – I worked 24 hours a day. There is more pressure...

How to reinvent your career through motherhood and midlife

Pay it Forward podcast: Former Marie Claire editor-in-chief Trish Halpin and BITE managing editor Nicky...