The Only Way Is Essex star Cara Kilbey has quit the show.

Filming for series 8 of the ITV2 reality hit began this week, with the show due to return on Sunday.

Cara - who was banned from driving for two years and given community service earlier this month after admitting drink-driving - will be the only high-profile character not returning from last series, The Sun reported.

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Insiders insisted her decision to leave had nothing to do with the court case, but that she had been thinking of quitting for some time.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed TOWIE couple Sam Faiers and Joey Essex secretly split at Christmas - but have since made up.

Sam told Now magazine: "We went through a bad patch so decided to take a break."

Joey added: "After two days, I ended up going to Sam's with a bunch of flowers."