The Only Way is Essex pool party features Harpenden businesswoman

PUBLISHED: 08:10 15 May 2011

Jo Norris furnishes and stars in The only way is Essex.

Jo Norris furnishes and stars in The only way is Essex.


Harpenden businesswoman supplied furniture for TOWIE and featured as an extra alongside stars including Amy Childs, Mark Wright and Kirk Norcross.

A BUSINESSWOMAN from Harpenden supplied furniture to the makers of hit reality TV show The Only Way is Essex and ended up becoming an extra in the programme.

Jo Morris, owner of bespoke furniture hire company Rio Lounge, was asked by the producers of the ITV 2 show also known as TOWIE to provide furniture for the final episode of the second series aired last week which saw events promoter Mark Wright throw a lavish pool party.

She arrived at the set in Chingford, Essex, at around 6.30am with one of her seasonal workers Lucy Randall to set up and they were preparing to head back to Harpenden when they were asked to become extras in the show.

Jo, 39, said: “We got it all set up and were just having a cup of tea and breakfast when they were coming round getting everyone in position. I thought they were going to have to move us on but they said they needed a few extras and asked us to go and sit at the bar. But we looked very un-glam, I was just wearing jeans and a vest top and there was no hair and make up as everyone in the show dresses how they would normally.”

The two women ended up spending the entire day at the party brushing shoulders with the stars of the show including Amy Childs, Sam Faiers, Kirk Norcross as well as James ‘Arg’ Argent and his on-off girlfriend Lydia Bright.

Jo and Lucy thoroughly enjoyed the experience but had unfortunately left before the explosive final scene of the show in which Mark’s fiancée Lauren Goodyer, who he had ‘banned’ from the bash, stormed into the party and pushed him into the swimming pool in front of all of his guests.

Gutsy Jo set up Rio Lounge, which is based off Coldharbour Lane, as the recession started to bite after seeing a gap in the market for supplying boutique outdoor furniture to upmarket events.

She explained: “I started out in marketing for banking and radio and just decided I wanted to market my own products rather than someone else’s. And having worked in the events industry I had encountered so many bad companies, I wanted to set up a business that excels in customer service and product offering. In the events industry you just can’t let people down, there is no room for mistakes.”

Jo, who also lives in Harpenden, has a number of other important jobs lined up over the summer including events at the Houses of Parliament and Kensington Palace.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Herts Advertiser