EXCLUSIVE The TOWIE star on why he will not be best friend Mark's best man

TOWIE‘s James ‘Arg’ Argent is close to tears as he reveals how he’s battled his way up from rock bottom to win back his TV career, friends and the love of his life Lydia Bright, 25.

In our emotional exclusive, the 27-year-old Essex man admits he almost ruined his life with drink and endless nights out – and how he lost the only woman he’s ever loved by ‘putting her through hell and back’.

Talking for the first time about his trip to rehab last December, Arg reveals the it was his TOWIE co-stars Lydia, Joey Essex and best friend Mark Wright who were there for him when he sunk to his lowest.

It has come at a cost though – when Strictly star Mark marries actress Michelle Keegan later this year, Arg will not be his pal’s best man. In fact, at one point he was BANNED for their wedding altogether.

Talking to Now, Arg reveals: ‘I’m embarrassed to say this, but so many people tried [to help me] and got pushed away. Mark Wright, Joey Essex, my family, Lydia’s family. Instead, I surrounded myself with idiots who hung around me because I was famous.

‘Mark told me I wasn’t invited to his wedding if I didn’t change. When I went into rehab he got in touch because he was so proud of me. He’s invited me to his wedding and stag do, which is a big thing for me. It’s amazing to have him and Joey back as my mates.’

Arg admits that shooting to fame on one of TV’s top shows changed him. ‘The truth is, I changed,’ he says. ‘When I started on the show I had Lydia, she was the love of my life and I was happy. But when TOWIE got so big, all of a sudden people knew who I was, I was getting invited to places, I was making money and girls were throwing themselves at me. I’d never had any of that before and I loved it all. I became arrogant. I was really popular and I started to think Lydia was lucky to have me. I was an absolute idiot, but I fell for all the flattery, all the attention. I couldn’t get enough.’

Read James ‘Arg’ Argent‘s full interview – including the day he knew he needed to get help – in this week’s Now magazine dated 16 February 2015 – download the digital edition now!