The Only Way Is Essex bosses are planning a special live Christmas episode and will invite former cast members like Amy Childs to be involved.

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Programme chiefs for the ITV2-scripted reality show want to do something special for the festive season, but will be banning alcohol to ensure the cast’s exploits don’t get out of hand.

A source said: “Doing an episode live is a high-risk strategy but everyone is excited about it.

“We’ve banned any booze because we don’t want any funny business happening. The last thing we need is them all getting a bit of Dutch courage and it ending up kicking off.”

TOWIE chiefs are also keen to invite some old stars back for the episode, but ruled out former couple Mark Wright and Lauren Goodger.

The insider added to The Sun: “We’re more likely to ask Amy Childs.

“Nothing has even been decided yet – even the cast don’t know they’re doing this.”

The episode – which follows in the footsteps of soaps Coronation Street, Emmerdale and EastEnders, who have all attempted live programming – will air at the beginning of December.