MP Eric Pickles spent an evening out experiencing Towie-style nightlife with church volunteers offering heavenly advice to clubbers.

The Brentwood and Ongar MP joined a group of street pastors who patrolled the High Street in Brentwood on Friday night as revellers came into town looking to enjoy the Towie nightlife.

During the night, pastors offer people who are a little worse for wear, comfort and help.

Mr Pickles, who was also joined by Conservative Essex Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Nick Alston, said the evening was a “fascinating experience”.

He said: “I was deeply impressed by their open friendliness to all those out and about enjoying a night out on the High Street.

“You have to have a fair amount of front to go up to somebody, not knowing what kind of state they might be in, and offer a friendly word.”

The Tory MP, who is Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said he would like to see more businesses taking advantage of the “Towie effect” helping the volunteers.

Mr Pickles said: “Lots of people travel great distances to come to Brentwood as a result of seeing the town and its nightlife on the TV show, the Only Way Is Essex.

“It is good to know the Street Pastors are there to look after those who are worse for wear and a long way from home.

“I’d like to see the Brentwood nightclubs and pubs offering some assistance to the street pastors, who do such a good job in helping people who’ve found the excitement of visiting Brentwood a little bit too much.”

The scheme was launched on August 19 last year and is supported by Essex Police.

Other street pastor projects run in Essex towns including Southend and Colchester.