Does this mean that Joey can't make a return to TOWIE?

Joey Essex, one of TOWIE‘s finest, has now departed the show.

NOOOOO!

Well, actually, yes.

It was rumoured for ages that he was going on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, and it’s now been confirmed that he will indeed be in the jungle come Sunday.

Last night, Joey officially left TOWIE – and I was sad. No, Joey, no!

To be totally honest, TOWIE will be boring without Joey‘s high jinks (which included, for example, Joey driving some kind of car-cum-boat, with the number plate ‘F1OATY’ into a lake last night. See above gallery. This is all especially irresponsible with the recent furore over amphibious vehicles being dangerous. Oh, dear, Joey. But seriously funny.)

Wah! Joey officially left TOWIE by meeting up with ex Sam Faiers at a party.

‘I’ve come here tonight, but I’m not actually coming inside,’ he said. ‘I thought I’d come say ‘bye tonight. Both of us need to move on.’

‘It’s probably easier with you going away… but I’ll miss your little face, and I’ll always love you,’ she said, looking sad.

OK, so Joey‘s only moving over to ITV1, but he’s going to be missed on TOWIE.

Obviously, this all harks back to Mark Wright going on I’m A Celeb in 2011.

Since then, he’s turned his showbiz life around – and got engaged to Coronation Street‘s lovely Michelle Keegan.

And Mark never did return to TOWIE. (I’m still not over that. Although his cousin Elliot Wright is pretty much a carbon copy of Mark, and for that, producers, I am mighty grateful.)

Now, I’m not sure if Joey can come back, or not. Even if he wants to.

Here’s hoping he will – Kirk Norcross made a return to TOWIE after a stint on Celebrity Big Brother – but Joey, who’s sure to be one of the faves to win I’m A Celebrity, may decide there’s a life outside of Essex.

I’m scared for TOWIE, quite frankly. It will be a much duller place without the unique Mr Essex and his silly cars, hair and jackets. You can’t really wear a shell suit in the jungle, now, can you?

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SEE PICTURES TOWIE girl Sam Faiers parties in Ibiza with boyfriend Joey Essex and sister Billie