Pay revealed: 'Towie' and 'Love Island' stars on less than minimum wage

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Frankie Essex launches Hair Extensions at the Worx Studio in Parsons Green, London.

Towie star Frankie Essex has revealed she was paid just £50 a day to appear on the show – sometimes filming for over 12 hours.

The Only Way Is Essex alum joined Made In Chelsea’s Alex Mytton and Love Island’s 2018 contestant Dr Alex George on Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question Time podcast to discuss the truth about life as a reality TV star – which they said was mostly long hours and low pay.

“It looks more glamorous than you think,” Essex said. “We’d get £50 a day if we filmed and if you didn't film, you didn't get paid.

Read more: 'Love Island's Dr Alex George still in therapy over his time on the show

“I think I was on call for six weeks. So, we’d get a text message at between 7pm and 11pm at night saying, ‘You've got filming tomorrow, be [at this nightclub] at 10 o’clock in the morning on a Sunday.’

“Sometimes you'd be on set until 4am.”

Dr Alex George said Love Island contestant were paid even less, chiming in: “That's more than Love Island; we had a travel expense of £200 a week.”

Frankie Essex, Dr Alex George, Kate Thornton and Alex Mytton (Credit: WWQT)

In light of the recent axing of The Jeremy Kyle Show following the death of a guest, Essex, 30, spoke eloquently about the duty of care reality shows have towards the people who appear on them.

The Towie star – who lost her mum to suicide when she was a child – revealed she had been assessed for the ITV2 show by Graham Stanier, the same psychotherapist who regularly appeared on Jeremy Kyle.

Essex recalled how she forced herself to hide her emotions during the evaluation as she was desperate to appear on the show.

Read more: TOWIE's James Argent warned he 'needs to lose 10 stone'

She said: “I had Graham from Jeremy Kyle.

“It’s not like they try and get it out of you, it’s weird. I’m an emotional person so I was holding back the tears, because I thought if I cry they might say no.

“I spoke about things, I’m quite open. I do suffer with depression. So I’m very open that I lost my mum at a very young age to suicide. That was quite a big thing on the show for me: for the public, for other children and for other men and women to know that me and Chloe and Joey, as a family, had lost someone very close to us all but we were still alright.”

Listen to the full interview on Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question Time with Dr Alex George, ex-TOWIE star Frankie Essex and MIC’s Alex Mytton. Subscribe on Apple or Spotify to get first access to all the celebrity confessions.