The Harry Lee – Frankie Sims Saga
The on-again, off-again nature of the Harry Lee Frankie Sims relationship is quickly becoming one of the most notable The Only Way is Essex couplings.
TOWIE star Harry Lee is a sixth-tier league footballer and Essex native who has traversed relationships on the reality show. In addition to fellow TOWIE standout Frankie Sims, Lee has been linked on the show to Chloe Brockett.
His on-off alliances with the two starlets have strengthened the show’s appeal, even as Sims tries to maintain the relationship is in its early days.
Frankie Sims and her sisters on TOWIE
Newer fans of The Only Way is Essex will know Harry Lee and Frankie Sims entered the show in 2019. Seasoned fans identify Frankie, 22, as the youngest sister from the Sims line of TOWIE standouts. Sisters Chloe, 36 and Demi, 24 were introduced on TOWIE before Frankie was earlier this year.
Chloe Sims first shot to fame by becoming a show regular in 2011. Demi Sims parlayed her TOWIE fame into other shows, including when she was cast on the likes of Celebs Go Dating, where she got together with Love Island’s Megan Barton-Hanson. It was a relationship that went sour earlier this year, as Megan “breaks down in tears” after the two had split.
Frankie was first revealed earlier this year as the “unknown lookalike sister” prior to her introduction to the ITV 2 show. Given her relationships since then, it’s clear that Frankie is forging a name for herself.
TOWIE grows on Frankie
It took Frankie a long time to finally agree to be on the show, alongside two successful sisters and brother Charlie, 27. That’s because Frankie prioritised education and striking out on her own first.
Frankie told the Daily Mail at the TOWIE launch party earlier this year:
“I actually met one of the producers when I was really young, before I went to uni and I was about 17 and he asked me if I would ever go on TOWIE and I said no, never, I want to go to uni, I want to study, I want to get something then work in London.”
True to TOWIE’s ability to unearth new, compelling characters, Frankie’s entrance on the show proves producers can cultivate relationships years ahead of time. The Events Management graduate attended the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and stayed behind with an ex before succumbing to the TOWIE temptation.
“It’s nice, as people know and recognise (me)…Now everything has changed, my mind-set, I just woke up.
“One day I woke up, I was in Vegas with my family, and I was like I don’t want anything that I got, I am going to leave everything behind and go back to Essex.
“So as soon as I got back, I let go of my flat, broke up with my boyfriend and handed my notice in at work and I just moved back to Essex and then straight away the girls were like why don’t you come onto TOWIE and straight away I had meetings with the producers and it all went from there.”
Her sisters also acted as something similar to uncredited producers for TOWIE along the way. Frankie says they were persistent in persuading her to join the show.
TOWIE introduces Harry Lee
Harry Lee, 24, is a native of Hackney who came up through youth football with Leyton Orient originally in 2012 as a midfielder. He was a substitute for the senior squad in 2013 and has since played for other clubs like:
- Farnborough (2013, on loan)
- back to Leyton Orient (2013-15)
- Welling United (2015-17)
- Chelmsford (2017-18)
He’s now playing midfield with Concord Rangers in Essex.
Suggestions arose that with his situation in the lower tiers of professional football, Harry will try his hand in other lines of work. In addition to TOWIE, Harry works as a recruitment consultant. Our own Nancy Hargreaves revealed this in November. He first came to the show in 2019 as well.
So what are the origins of this Harry Lee Frankie Sims romance?
In short, Harry Lee and Frankie Sims came together after the end of the previous TOWIE season. He was also previously romantic with another castmate of TOWIE. Chloe Brockett and Harry Lee officially ended things before the September 2019 Sunday episode as a season premiere.
Yet it seems that Harry was a bit reticent about filming with her after the breakup in late May 2019.
OK magazine reported before the season premiere that Chloe, 18, had “bombarded” her ex-lover with a series of text messages. Said one person close to Harry Lee-Chloe Brockett situation:
“Harry has been inundated with texts and WhatsApp messages from Chloe.
“After they split up she kept hitting him up. He tried blocking her but she bombarded him on everything.”
“The situation got so bad for Harry that he actually had to tell TOWIE bosses that he wouldn’t film scenes with her anymore because he was sick of it all.”
Chloe would later claim those rumours were false, and producers were adamant as well. They added that the cast’s safety was paramount on set.
Enter Frankie Sims
It appears that Frankie and Harry first got together off-camera, as a result of the Chloe-Harry fallout, which bled into the most recent season.
TOWIE spokesman told OK! Online:
“Episode one explores the fallout and disagreement between Harry and Chloe following the breakdown of their romance.”
Snaps from the paps
The overhaul of Frankie’s life since leaving Preston behind for the TOWIE trappings has been spottings of overzealous photographers. One recent Daily Mail feature had snapshots of her with other TOWIE stars, including:
- Georgia Kousoulou
- Chloe Brockett
- Big sis Chloe Sims.
Struggles to get going
One of the storylines for the most recent TOWIE seasons was a trip for cast members to Marbella. Whilst there, Frankie was caught up in a chat with sisters
- Demi, 23, and;
- pal James ‘Diags’ Bennewith.
In that chat, the UCLAN grad revealed that she does have feelings for the Essex native footballer.
“I’ve not really seen him out here and he said we’d do things just one on one, me and him, and he’s not even asked to see me.”
Chloe has been a supportive big sister throughout the season. In the course of the convo, Chloe made it clear that she suspected Harry wasn’t really interested because Frankie doesn’t come on too strong. She then says:
“When I spoke to Ella [Rae Wise] he said he doesn’t like girls who aren’t open and won’t put it on me.”
Chloe for the defence
The on-again/off-again nature of the relationship for Harry Lee/Frankie Sims has been trying for the sisters Sims. Particularly Chloe Sims, who played the role of defensive big sister to a T on the recent series.
One proud family moment came when Chloe Sims spoke with her friends Kousoulou and Pete Wicks in one particular episode during the late 2019 season.
“As far as Frankie’s concerned, they had their problems but they’ve come home and he said ‘I do want to give things a go, I want to be with you’, all this stuff.
“But now he’s saying [something else] and it’s like, what is wrong with this boy? Is there anything in his head?”
“…He’s running around saying ‘oh everyone’s getting involved, the Sims sisters’ but when you’re constantly disrespecting my sister, of course, I’m going to get involved.”
In fairness to both Frankie and Chloe’s frustrations, Harry Lee hasn’t made the relationship particularly easy. For both Frankie and Chloe alike, Harry Lee’s behaviour has been something of a head-scratcher. The footballer has been spotted flirting with Ella Rae-Wise on a trip to Thorpe Park, Surrey.
Chloe plays big sis
This came in the midst of his dalliance with Frankie Sims, which confused an already tumultuous situation. At that time, Frankie clearly seems to have been left confused as to where things stood in the relationship altogether. It eventually led to an expletive-filled row in which Frankie dumped Harry over the rumours.
Chloe, however, hasn’t been putting up with Harry’s ways. Comparisons have been made Chloe’s own ex, Dan Edgar.
“Dan’s not a people pleaser and neither is Harry, they’re both a pair of lying, little scumbags.”
She then went on to add a big sister warning on behalf of Frankie:
“Be single, do your thing, run round Essex…go out with every girl in Essex, but don’t f**k with my sister.”
Off the top rope!
The end of the Harry Lee Frankie Sims fling
Then came the row, where things finally came to a head in an October episode of TOWIE.
It played out at an unnamed Essex cafe, where Harry Lee and Frankie Sims bumped into each other. Harry breaks the silence by admitting faults and attempting to lower the temperature of a potentially volatile situation.
“Listen I’ve been an absolute donut.
“I haven’t been completely honest. But I suppose I didn’t want to lose you and it was going so well, but I got found out. I wish I was just honest in the first place.”
Frankie, however, was not in the mood for pacifying the situation. She went in for more details, including a rumour he had invited Ella Rae back to his room.
“Is there anything else you need to be honest about? The hotel room?”
“That hotel thing was absolute waffle.”
All hopes of keeping the conversation low-key ended shortly thereafter, when Frankie shot back:
“The thing that’s really p****d me off is that I knew you had a hotel booked. So you waving the key card, there’s no smoke without fire, why would she just make that up? It’s a really weird thing to make up.”
Harry Lee gave in somewhat, admitting he had likely waved the key. Yet Harry stuck to his guns: the footballer said he didn’t invite Ella Rae back to his room. He also tried to convince her that he was a changed man. But Frankie remained unconvinced by Harry’s statements.
“What am I supposed to do now because I don’t trust you and you know I don’t trust you.’
“Yeah you really have f*****d up. I’m actually done with everything, I don’t want you to contact me anymore. I don’t want to hear from you.”
“My sisters don’t want to hear from you. So f**k off with your f***ing puffer jacket.”
That was seemingly the end of it.
Christmas Party reunion?
So what happens at Christmas? Of course: kiss and make up. We’re left to wonder how we got there with Harry and Frankie.
Little is truly evident about how the couple got back together at this point. True inquisitors will have to find out. However, OK magazine is reporting that an emotional Chloe Brockett will be in a row in the official The Only Way is Essexmas Christmas special (which is yet to be aired).
According to several media reports, Harry Lee and Frankie Sims are apparently on again as an official couple.
Reports show Brockett, Harry’s ex, had a friendship with fellow castmate Joey called into question. Seemingly frustrated, she then finds Frankie and Harry loved up at the Christmas Party, which pushes things over the edge.
Other storylines aside from the Harry Lee Frankie Sims relationship include the following:
- Chloe Sims and Amber Turner have a row about Dan Edgar
- Chloe Brockett and Clelia clash over a friendship with Joey.
- Saffron holds a clothing drive and opens a soup kitchen.
- Bobby has a question for Matt at Georgia’s Christmas party.
- Chloe dressed as the Ice Queen.
- The return of famed former cast member and podcaster Gemma Collins to TOWIE television screens.