After five years of drama Lauren Pope is ditching her Towie mates

After 16 years with the series, one of the last original cast members of The Only Way Is Essex, Lauren Pope, is saying goodbye.

The model-turned-DJ has apparently decided to leave the ITVBe reality series in order to spend more time on her other business pursuits.

A source has told the Mail Online: “Lauren has decided to leave as her business ventures are demanding too much of her time.”

“Her various businesses are doing really well and she’s expanding internationally and just can’t give the time that TOWIE requires.”

It was also noted that while Lauren feels that now is the right stage to move on, after five years with the series, producers for TOWIE would love for her to stay.

Before joining the cast Lauren had already had success as a DJ and her hair Rehab London company was going strong. Little Mix are also reported to be huge fans of Lauren's and a valued client.

The Mirror also reports a source as saying Lauren has had “a couple of other TV offers, which she might test the water with.”

Lauren, 33, will continue filming until the end of the current series and leave during the next break in filming which the cast will have.

She joined that cast in 2010 during the first series as a love interest of Kirk Norcross. She also enjoyed romances with other cast members including Lewis Bloor and Dan Edgar.

Jessica Wright, James 'Arg' Argent, Lydia Bright and Nanny Pat are the only original cast members left, following Lauren’s departure.