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Mario Falcone quits TOWIE after four years

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Mario Falcone is leaving The Only Way Is Essex. The 27-year-old has decided it's time to explore new avenues after four years on the ITVBe reality show. "I have had a great time on TOWIE and relished the many opportunities the show has given me but after 14 series, I feel it is time to move on and explore something new," Mario confirmed to Mirror TV.

A spokesperson for ITVBe told the Daily Star: "TOWIE is an ensemble show which is never reliant on one individual cast member. Recent additions to the cast, such as Jake, Chloe and Pete, have proved popular with viewers and fitted in well alongside more established cast members."

mario falcone © Photo: Getty Images

Mario Falcone is leaving TOWIE after four years on the show

The news comes only two months after Mario's most recent suspension from TOWIE was lifted. The fitness fanatic was suspended for promoting slimming pills on social media – which goes against ITV rules.A spokesperson for TOWIE said at the time: "Mario is suspended and will not be appearing in the Marbella episodes. "The reality star himself told 3am: "I was a bit gutted not to go to Marbs this year but, on reflection, having seen all the dramas they had out there it was probably a blessing in disguise. "I am pleased to be back filming in Essex and looking forward to having some fun with the lads."

News of Mario's exit comes after reports that Billie Faiers and Jessica Wright are also considering leaving the show. He follows in the footsteps of Sam Faiers, Mark Wright, Amy Childs and Kirk Norcross, who have all left to work on other projects.Meanwhile, it was reported last week that Mario and his model girlfriend Emma McVey have called time on their relationship. Emma posted a series of cryptic Twitter messages, which seemed to suggest Mario had been messaging other women behind her back, while he has cleared his Instagram account of pictures of her.