Ricky Rayment has left The Only Way Is Essex. The 26-year-old, who dated Jessica Wright for two years on the reality show, will not be joining the cast on their annual summer holiday to Marbella after agreeing to leave TOWIE "by mutual consent".
Ricky announced his departure on Twitter. "I can confirm I've decided to take a break from TOWIE, I would like to thank the show's producers, the whole cast & crew! Gonna miss you all," he wrote.
Ricky Rayment is leaving The Only Way Is Essex
"I also want to say thank you to all the TOWIE fans… It's been an EPIC journey that I've loved sharing with you guys. Will miss you all xx."
There are reports that Ricky's new relationship with Marnie Simpson – a member of Newcastle-based reality show Geordie Shore – played a big part in his exit from the hit series.
"The storylines weren't moving forward. Plus his new romance with Marnie is a bone of contention as there was no way bosses would bring a character in from Geordie Shore," an insider told the Mirror.
Ricky announced his decision to quit the show on Twitter
"Ricky felt it was time to go. Neither he nor Jess (Wright) really wanted to keep filming together."
The Essex star's decision to leave doesn't necessarily signal the end of his TV career, however. According to the insider, Ricky and Marnie are in talks to do their own reality project together.
"Ricky has a huge following from TOWIE and isn't ready to step out of the spotlight just yet. He's mulling over his options right now."
Ricky's romance with Marnie Simpson is said to have played a part in his exit
Ricky and Marnie started dating at the start of the year, and have been inseparable ever since. The TV personality, who split from Jess in November, has already said that marriage "is the plan".
Asked by Now magazine whether a proposal could be on the cards this year, he replied: "You'll have to wait and see," before stating: "I want two boys, then a girl."
Marnie added, "Obviously it's really early for that, and we're too young right now, but we've spoken about it… And our little boy is going to be called Elijah."