The I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! star emulated the famous look of actress Shirley Eaton when she fell foul of villain Goldfinger in the 1960s James Bond film.
Essex ditched his usual spray tan for a golden paint job to earn a crust in a promotion for PizzaExpress to celebrate 45 years since the firm started producing its doughballs.
Diners at the firm's restaurants and customers who buy their products from a supermarket will have a chance of finding gold-coloured dough balls which could entitle them to one of two made from real gold, and valued at £5,000 each.
Essex - who also featured in The Only Way Is Essex - said: "January's always really depressing so it's nice that someone going out for a pizza or picking up some dough balls for dinner on their way home might win gold. That would be amazing."
Dough balls are the top-selling items on PizzaExpress's menus, with around four million portions served in their restaurants each year.