By Ciara Farmer For Mailonline
Published: 11:16 GMT, 1 February 2019 | Updated: 12:17 GMT, 1 February 2019
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
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