Exclusive Mario Falcone: Don’t slate Live TOWIE, I loved being One Direction’s Zayn Malik

Last night, the cast of The Only Way is Essex took part in the first ever (and probably last) live episode of the show.

Mario pulled a shocked face when he saw the new look. Copyright [ITV2]

Following the show's broadcast, many of you and various celebs took to Twitter to slate the it after being left less than impressed by the special.

Talking exclusively to omg! today, TOWIE cast member Mario Falcone has defended the live episode saying that people need to remember that the show has never taken itself too seriously.

He told us: "Some people have been saying that it was a car crash but I think we need to remember that TOWIE is a tongue and cheek program, it isn't serious. It is what it was, at least we gave it go."

The TOWIE star also said it was important to remember neither the cast or crew had taken part in live television before.

He explained: "People seem to forget that we aren't actors and that our production don't usually work on things that are live, we have our own set system so it was a new experience for everyone.

"I think we were the first to do a live reality performance so to speak. On the whole I think it went well."

The Only Way is....car crash tv? [ITV]

Mario also added that the show was done in aid of raising awareness and money for breast cancer care.

He stated: "At the end of the day we raised money for breast cancer care and that is the most important thing, to raise money."

[Related article: TOWIE Live: Our Verdict]

[Related article: TOWIE Live pretty much slated by er, everyone]

During the show, which was focused on a fundraising event, Mario was part of a One Direction tribute band taking on the role of Zayn Malik.

The TOWIE star admits that he was more than happy to perform and be the Zayn of the group.

He admitted: "I love One Direction and Zayn is my favourite so getting to be Zayn was pretty cool. It was cool cos' we hung out with some fit girls too so it wasn't too bad."

Don't let Lucy hear that Mario.

Mario's next venture will be taking part in a charity football match in order to raise money for Project Africa.

The TOWIE star has admitted that he fancies his chances of winning the match due to his semi professional background.

He said: "I can't wait. I definitely think we can win, I used to be semi pro, Tom Kilbey used to be professional and we've got other players that are wicked so it should be good."

Mcfly band members Harry Judd and Danny Jones will also be competing in the tournament.

On playing against them Mario revealed: "I've played football with them both a few times. I can't wait. I always play football with Danny so it will be quite interesting playing against him."

The William Hill Foundation Cup kicks off at 3pm on 9th December at Northampton Town Football Club.  Tickets on sale now at sellebrity.org.uk/sellebrity-soccer.  All money raised goes to Project Africa, an initiative to help the Island School in Kenya. For more information and special bets on the match visit williamhill.com.