CHILDREN enjoyed a Christmas party with a TOWIE twist at the launch of an online fancy dress business.
Little Chris, star of The Only Way Is Essex, has teamed up with Battlesbridge fancy dress shop Props and Frocks to create online outfitters and events firm www.fancydressex.com.
The 25-year-old, real name Chris Drake, celebrated his new venture by inviting children from nearby Castledon School along for a party.
The school, in Bromfords Drive, Wickford, is for children with moderate learning difficulties and the event was a reward for the pupils who had achieved 100 per cent attendance this term.
Entertainer Mr Happy, from South Woodham Ferrers, kept the children amused before they each had the chance to meet Father Christmas in his grotto to receive a present donated by ASDA.
The party was held in a marquee outside the shop in Rectory Lane from noon to 2pm on Friday.
Chris said: "This is something nice to do for children at Christmas. It's good to be able to give something back."
His new business partner Adele Wiseman, 45, managing director of Props and Frocks, said: "It was a fantastic day for the children, they loved every minute.
"The kids were totally enthralled with the experience, they had a great time, there was a buffet and a disco, they were so excited.
"ASDA provided presents, and they all got to go home with a cupcake."
Head teacher Philippa Holliday told the Gazette: "The children had lots of fun and got to meet two stars from the show.
"It was nice for them to have the opportunity to be recognised outside the school for all they have done."
Talking of his new enterprise, Chris said: "People assume we did nothing before TOWIE came along.
"People see us taking over Brentwood High Street opening businesses, but we do have caring sides. I was actually an insurance underwriter in the City so I had a good job.
"Of course I've left that behind as I wouldn't be able to work in that world again after featuring in TOWIE."
After the charity event, Chris, from Brentwood, was joined by the rest of the cast for an even fancier Christmas party, due to feature on Wednesday's edition of the programme on ITV2.
Chris added: "We only decided seven weeks ago to launch this new business. As soon as the show goes out on Wednesday, the site will go live. I am also going to launch an events business off the back of it next year.
"TOWIE was always going to be a platform for me. I bought a ticket for this roller coaster and will see where I end up. I am making the most of every opportunity which comes my way.
"I will let you know in a few years' time if this has all been worth it. Eventually, it should be."