All things Wright and beautiful: TOWIE's Kate is pictured for the first time with Rio Ferdinand as it emerges she has QUIT reality show
- The couple have been linked since January
- They met up and enjoyed a 'string of dates' in Dubai last week
- Kate has quit TOWIE to focus on 'new business ventures'
- Manchester United legend Rio lost his late wife Rebecca to cancer in 2015
They have been linked since January - and TOWIE's Kate Wright and footballer Rio Ferdinand have been pictured together for the first time.
The 25-year-old appeared deep in conversation on her phone as she headed out in Essex with the sporting icon a few steps behind her.
The outing comes as Kate has decided to hang up her stilettos when it comes to the reality show that shot her to stardom and decided to quit TOWIE.
Scroll down for video
All things Wright and beautiful: TOWIE's Kate was pictured for the first time with Rio Ferdinand in Essex - as it emerges she has QUIT reality show which made her a household name
Double trouble: The 25-year-old appeared deep in conversation on her phone as she headed out in Essex with the sporting icon a few steps behind her
The stunner appeared content as she headed out in a black vest top which showed off her curves.
She wore matching black leggings as she no doubt planned to head to the gym.
Her blonde locks were tied back off her face and her eyes were shielding by designer shades.
How does she look so good? Kate appeared content as she headed out in a black vest top which showed off her curves
That's some serious arm candy: Kate appeared more engrossed in her phone than the player as she carried a Givenchy bag on her arm
Good times ahead: The outing comes as it emerged that Kate and Rio secretly met up in Duabi and attending a pool party together last month
What a guy! Manchester United legend Rio had travelled to the UAE for a Football Escapes training session with children at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai
Kate appeared more engrossed in her phone than the player as she carried a Givenchy bag on her arm.
Rio meanwhile, was also casually dressed, wearing a white T-shirt with black tracksuit bottoms as he headed to his car, carrying what looked like a suit in his hand.
Reality star Kate is taking an 'extended break' after the current series of the show wraps after starring in the show since October 2015.
Happy days: While Kate had flown on holiday for a friend's hen do and birthday celebration, no doubt she was thrilled to catch up with Rio while she was away
He's got the look: Rio looked casual and trendy as he followed Kate down the street
A spokesperson for The Only Way Is Essex told MailOnline: 'Kate has informed producers that she may take an extended break after filming for this series wraps.
'We fully support this decision and will keep in close contact with Kate so we can mutually decide if and when a return is appropriate. We wish her well in her future projects.'
News that Kate is deciding to step away from TOWIE comes after she was said to have 'enjoyed a string of dates' with former footballer Rio Ferdinand during her getaway to Dubai.
Hanging up her boots: Kate is 'taking an extended break' from TOWIE - a representative has confirmed to MailOnline
Moving on: The reality star's decision to quit TOWIE comes as her 'romance' with Rio Ferdinand is reportedly hotting up
Secret dates: She had enjoyed a trip to Dubai with her girlfriends but reportedly enjoyed a 'string of dates' with the former footballer while overseas
Heartbreaking: Rio's late wife Rebecca Ellison tragically lost her battle to cancer in 2015
Happier times: Kate and fellow TOWIE star Dan Edgar had dated on and off for six years, before finally calling it quits just before Christmas
She had ventured overseas with a bevy of girlfriends, but reportedly enjoyed secret dates with Rio - with the pair having fun at a pool party together.
A source told MailOnline exclusively: 'Kate was there last week and Rio happened to be there at the same time with his footballing commitments. They met up secretly a couple of times while they were there.'
A representative for Kate, meanwhile, told MailOnline: 'Kate went to Dubai for her friend's hen party. There is no further comment.'
New beau? The blonde beauty has been romantically linked to former footballer Rio since January earlier this year - neither have confirmed the romance
Supporting her decision: TOWIE bosses have 'respected' Kate's decision to leave the show and have they said will talk to the starlet about a 'return' if she chooses
She was first romantically linked to Rio back in January, but the duo have apparently gone to great lengths to keep their numerous reported rendezvous under wraps.
Neither have confirmed the romance.
MailOnline has also contacted a spokesperson for Rio Ferdinand for comment.
Manchester United legend Rio - who lost his late wife Rebecca to cancer in 2015 -had travelled to the UAE for a Football Escapes training session with children at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai.
He was joined by West Ham United player Bobby Zamora.
Shock exit: News Kate is leaving TOWIE comes a year and a half after she first joined the show in October 2015
Kate, meanwhile, previously dated her co-star Dan Edgar. They had been in a relationship when he first joined TOWIE - two series before she did - in 2015.
But their relationship broke down after he was seen turning his attentions to Jessica Wright.
While viewers did see the pair get back together on the show, their romance was on and off and the pair finally called it quits before Christmas last year.
It's claimed that the Essex boy had been an integral part of Kate's decision to quit, with a source telling Heatworld: 'Kate is over Dan and doesn’t want to keep being put in scenes with him or watch him date other girls.'
Could it be romance? The Manchester United legend travelled to the UAE for a Football Escapes training session with children at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, along with former West Ham United player Bobby Zamora
They're all winners! During his trip, Rio took to Twitter to proudly share a shot of himself with the young participants of the training sessions
Dan had enjoyed a brief romance with show newcomer Amber Turner on the current series of TOWIE, while tensions grew between Kate and Chloe Lewis - after Chloe confessed to previously kissing Dan.
Meanwhile, TOWIE fans will see a new addition to the cast as it's claimed Love Island star Cara de la Hoyde will be joining the show as a full-time cast member.
A source close to Cara told The Sun: 'Cara is expected to sign on the dotted line – she has got lots to say and TOWIE bosses know that fans are really interested in her relationship with Nathan and their split.'
Her addition comes after the reality star split with her Love Island beau Nathan Massey.
From Love Island to TOWIE! Cara de la Hoyde is reportedly joining the ITVBe reality show as a full-time cast member
They had been dating for nearly a year after getting together on the second series of the ITV2 dating show - and had even moved in together in Nathan's hometown of Essex.
The pair have previously starred on The Only Way Is Essex and made several cameos alongside Nathan's best friend Tommy Mallet and his girlfriend Georgia Kousoulou.
It's not known whether Nathan will be joining the show.
Viewers saw him join Tommy on Wednesday night's episode of TOWIE to discuss the reasons behind his split with Cara.
He revealed: 'It's completely over now. Sadly. We were just under each other's feet too much. The littlest thing would spark a massive argument.
'It's sad. But I don't resent her. I hope she doesn't resent me for anything. I just want a relationship like you... that would be nice.'
Honest: Nathan Massey spoke candidly about his split with Cara on Wednesday night's episode of TOWIE
Ex: Kate dated Dan Edgar on and off for six years before they finally called it quits last year
Most watched News videos
- Model filming an underwater shoot is BITTEN by a shark in U.S
- Zoe Ball gives late boyfriend Billy Yates a kiss in London in January
- The Conservative Party gain control of Gloucestershire
- 'Er...actually' Abbott has yet another numbers blunder over losses
- 'Food bank visitors have Sky TV' - Question Time audience member
- CCTV shows suspects running after fight that led to man's death
- Philip Johnson blames Jeremy Corby for loss of Warwickshire seat
- Melania glows as she and Donald Trump return to NYC
- Obama unveils plans for Presidential library in Chicago
- Biker cheats death as he comes off his bike and lands on back of car
- They see me rolling: Hapless driver runs after drifting car
- 'I can't stand up any more': Prince Philip jokes about retirement