Joey Essex says Rita Ora’s ‘just a friend’ after being snapped leaving her house


HE was pictured sneaking out of Rita Ora’s house earlier this week following a boozy night on the town.

But despite looking pleased with himself as he crept out of the singer’s posh Holland Park pad in West London, Joey Essex insists they were not doing the horizontal tango.

Joey Essex shut down rumours of a relationship with Rita Ora by insisting they are ‘just friends’

Joey was pictured sneaking out of Rita’s posh London pad after spending a boozy night out together

Speaking about their unlikely dalliance for the first time, he said: “We have known each other for years.

“She’s a nice girl, but we’re just friends.”

Joey — who split from model girlfriend Lorena Medina last month — features in the new series of MTV show Ex On The Beach.

And he says that’s the only reality show he will be doing for now, because he has still not signed up for the ten-year special of The Only Way Is Essex.

Talking at the TRIC awards at London’s Grosvenor House, he said: “I can’t think how it would work.

They spent 13 hours holed up together and were seen the next morning leaving with a group of friends

Joey split with model girlfriend Lorena Medina last month

“Realistically there is only one person who would make the show’s ratings go up and that’s Joey ‘Don’ Essex.”

One star definitely on board is Amy Childs, who I revealed yesterday would return for the ITVBe special. She said: “I would 100 per cent go back. TOWIE made me and it made a lot of us.

“The show changed all our lives. I know a few of the original cast are up for it. I don’t see why any of them would turn it down.”

It might be they’re too busy sneaking into pop stars’ houses in the early hours to get up early       for filming.

Speaking at the TRIC awards, he said that Ex On The Beach is the only reality show he’ll be doing for now as he hasn’t signed up for the TOWIE reunion

John has an eye on ice role

JOHN Barrowman’s next big gig will seem him join the cast of BBC1 drama Holby City, but the star has admitted he wouldn’t mind going back to be a judge on Dancing On Ice.

His first “fabulous” stint on the panel came to an end on Sunday when Joe Swash triumphed on the ITV skating contest.

John Barrowman says Dancing On Ice bosses would be ‘silly’ not to have him back as a judge next year

John shared the judging role with Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean and Ashley Banjo, and his camp shenannigans and firm-but-fair verdicts proved a hit with viewers.

But John, who also briefly reprised his role as Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who, thinks DOI bosses will warm to the idea of hiring him next year.

Speaking at the awards, he said: “I think they’d be silly not to have me.”

As meek as ever.

Piers in touching message

HE’S usually a stickler for tradition, but fears of catching coronavirus prompted Piers Morgan to dispense with handshakes at yesterday’s awards.

The Good Morning Britain host didn’t seem to mind being antisocial, and didn’t think anyone else would care.

Piers Morgan decided he wouldn’t shake anyone’s hands at the TRIC awards for fear of catching coronavirus

He said: “People don’t want to touch me anyway so it’s fine.”

Motormouth Piers also revealed his better half, writer Celia Walden, was taking precautions to prevent being affected by the disease – although he was characteristically dismissive.

He said: “My wife bought four masks yesterday on Amazon, which is a complete waste of time because they don’t do anything, but they make her feel better.”

She might benefit from earplugs too.

Babs big on past

SCREEN legend Barbara Windsor is still cracking Carry On jokes and singing songs despite her battle with Alzheimer’s.

Her pal Christopher Biggins said: “I had lunch with Barbara yesterday and she recognised me.

Christopher Biggins told of his friend Barbara Windsor’s struggle with dementia, revealing ‘she’s fantastic on the past but on the current, she’s not so good’

“She can still remember her Carry On lines and was singing to me. We laugh and tell stories.

“She’s fantastic on the past but on the current, she’s not so good.”

Chris said of his own future: “Learning lines is harder as you get older. I’d rather do the unscripted stuff.”