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Brian Belo 'suing Only Way Is Essex makers'

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Brian from Big Brother 8

© Channel 4

Big Brother winner Brian Belo is reportedly suing the makers of The Only Way Is Essex for allegedly stealing his idea for the programme.

The reality TV star featured in an original pilot of the show titled Totally Essex alongside stars including Amy Childs and Mark Wright. However, he was axed before ITV2 commissioned a full series.

The Sun reports that Belo is now suing Lime Pictures and his former manager Adam Muddle, for lost earnings of up to £100,000 per series.

Appearing in the pilot episode, Belo is seen saying: "I'd say we have the best lifestyle of anyone in the entire country. The way we feel, it's like screw the recession, we want to have fun. We like our kind of people. We like where we live in Essex and the way we see it in our group we are the Essex elite.

"Anything goes, no skirt is too short, no contacts are too blue, no tans too orange and that's just the way it is."

A source told the paper: "Brian is very sad it ended this way as Mark, Sam, Amy and Adam were his friends. He spent two years working on an idea for an Essex version of The Hills. His manager Adam is based in Liverpool and pitched the pilot to Lime Productions, who are based in the city.

"They snapped it up and ITV loved the show but Brian was pushed out. First he wasn't cast but thought he might be involved in producing but he was cut out of that. Brian decided he couldn't go on reading about the show and see the stars on telly and do nothing. It was his baby."

Uploading an original trailer for the series, Belo wrote: "I worked on the idea for two years. I wrote the treatment, got the cast together and got a trailer made. I pitched it to production companies. I'm very proud of its success. I want people to know where it came from."

Responding to his claims, Lime Pictures said: "We have not received any formal complaint from Brian Belo. The format and content of the programme was created and developed by a team at Lime Pictures."

Watch the original trailer for Totally Essex below:



> Belo: 'Essex is the new Big Brother'

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