TOWIE's James Lock and Yazmin Oukhellou are latest victims of cull

TOWIE's James Lock and Yazmin Oukhellou are latest victims of producers' 'biggest ever cull' after a year of personal dramas Insiders revealed to MailOnline, the couple are taking a step back from the show following Yazmin's breakdown and criticism of James' behaviour  In April last year, James came under fire by domestic abuse charities for his treatment of Yazmin following various screaming matches Yazmin meanwhile suffered a host of mental health issues at the end of the 23rd series, during which she took a break to recover  The 31-year-old hunk joined the show in 2013, where he was introduced alongside his best pal Dan Osborne in the eighth season Yazmin was later introduced in 2017 as his new girlfriend following the demise of his relationship with co-star Danielle Armstrong  

By Ciara Farmer For Mailonline

Published: 11:16 GMT, 1 February 2019 | Updated: 12:17 GMT, 1 February 2019

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TOWIE's James Lock and Yazmin Oukhellou have been downgraded to secondary characters on the ITVBe show as producers have executed a huge cull. 

Insiders tell MailOnline, the couple are stepping back from the show following their personal dramas which were detailed in the last series.  

Aside from the couple's switch to becoming secondary characters, The Only Way Is Essex bosses have also axed eight stars in the show's biggest ever cull, and are now on the hunt for a new bevvy of Essex-based cast members.

Moving on: TOWIE 's James Lock and Yazmin Oukhellou have been downgraded to secondary characters on the ITVBe show as producers have executed a huge cull

Moving on: TOWIE 's James Lock and Yazmin Oukhellou have been downgraded to secondary characters on the ITVBe show as producers have executed a huge cull

MailOnline has contacted representatives for TOWIE, James and Yazmin for comment. 

A source revealed: 'Lockie and Yaz’s turbulent relationship has been well documented and since taking a break at the end of last series they have been working hard on themselves and their relationship...

'They mutually agree with producers that taking an extended break and a back seat is best for them and the show at this

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