Belo to sue
Big Brother winner set to take on TOWIE producers...
09:21 28 March 2012
Brian Belo is suing the producers of The Only Way is Essex over the show's concept.
The Big Brother winner claims that the ITV2 series breaches copyright, and that they have reproduced a format that was originally created by him, Massive TV and Sassy Films for a show called Totally Essex.
The claim has been filed with the High Court by Belo on behalf of himself and the two companies, reports the Financial Times.
Belo is hoping to claim £4 million compensation if his court case succeeds, reports The Sun, and alleges that he was offered £2,500 for the show's idea.
ITV and Lime Pictures said in a joint statement: The Only Way is Essex is an original concept created and developed by an award-winning team at Lime Pictures.
Brian Belo's claim against Lime and ITV is totally without foundation and will be vigorously defended. The creative team at Lime Pictures is very proud of TOWIE and the notion that it was not entirely their own work is a serious allegation which is completely refuted.
Belo first discussed a possible lawsuit against ITV in April 2011, claiming his lost earnings amount to £100,000.
Belos creation, Totally Essex had a similar concept to The Only Way is Essex, and its trailer featured future TOWIE stars, including Mark Wright, Amy Childs and Kirk Norcross.
The reality star's writ reportedly contains a demand that the reality show is taken off the air until Bello gives permission for it to be broadcast.