Video/gallery: Crowds go wild as TOWIE star Joey Essex signs copies of his calendar at Buttermarket shopping centre, Ipswich

Joey Essex meeting fans at The Buttermarket, Ipswich

Joey Essex meeting fans at The Buttermarket, Ipswich - Credit: Lucy taylor

Reality TV star Joey Essex was in Ipswich this afternoon signing copies of his new calendar.

Screaming fans packed into Ipswich’s Buttermarket shopping centre today so they could meet reality TV star Joey Essex.

The 24-year-old spent more than four hours tucked away in an empty shop unit as people thronged the concourse outside waiting for him to sign a copy of his latest calendar.

Essex, who became famous after appearing in ITV2’s The Only Way is Essex, also took the time to chat to fans and pose for photos.

Some people had apparently been waiting since early morning to see the star, according to Buttermarket staff.

His latest TV outing sees him travel the world in Educating Joey Essex, where he learns about subjects as varied as football, Halloween and Africa.

While waiting outside the store fans desperate for a glimpse of their idol stood on tiptoes and lifted friends up to try and take photos on their phones.

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Elaine Landymore tookt her daughter Amy, aged 10, to see Essex for her birthday.

She said the queues were so long they still hadn’t got in by 2.15pm – despite joining the line at 10.45am.

But her daughter was still thrilled to be there after not seeing Essex during a visit to his Brentwood shop Fusey.

Seven-year-old Freddie Turpin, queuing with his mum Amber and wearing a top with Essex’s face on, had also been to the star’s shop.

“I went there but didn’t see him,” he said. “I did see his aunty though and I got this T-shirt.”

Karen Whitehead had also spent several hours queuing but even at 2.30pm was still excited about seeing Essex.

“I can’t wait, I love him. I’m going nowhere until I see him,” she said.

“I watch Educating Joey Essex, I think it’s awesome, but I don’t like TOWIE.”

Asked whether Essex’s dippy on-screen persona was genuine (he has previously said he can’t tell the time), she added: “Some of it may be an act but I think that is him and everyone loves him for what he is.”

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