It turns out there's just as much drama off-screen as there is on-screen

We’ve seen A LOT of our favourite on/off TOWIE couples call it quits recently – and we’ve also started to see them move on beyond the realms of Essex…

First there was Danielle Armstrong stepping out with her new man, Daniel Spiller and then Kate Wright paired off with former footie star, Rio Ferdinand.

Random, right?

But despite going through a pretty messy break up with Danielle last year, it’s actually Kate’s new relationship which has got Essex lad James Lock talking.

And it turns out he’s not too happy about the budding romance.

See, James is best mates with Kate’s ex Dan Edgar who was apparently pretty shocked by the news of her new love interest and now James has spoken out to defend of his pal.

Read: All the Latest Celebrity News 

Talking to The Sun James revealed that he saw Dan and Kate getting back together at some point, admitting: ‘Kate and Rio were a bit of a shock to the system for everyone. It came out of nowhere.’

The reality star, who’s now dating Yazmin Oukhellou, went on: ‘My loyalties are with Dan; I’m on side with him. He has a lot of love for Kate and would have liked the idea of getting her back but then Kate met Rio in Dubai so he’s been left in the lurch.

‘I don’t know Rio; he’s obviously a family man – good luck to them.’

kate-wright-dan-edgar-now

Dan hoped to get back together with his former TOWIE girlfriend (Instagram)

But reality star Kate doesn’t seem too phased by her ex at the moment as according to an insider she’s ‘smitten’ with 38-year-old Rio, after they met on a trip to Dubai.

More: New couple? Rio Ferdinand and TOWIE’s Kate Wright ‘spending time together’ after the death of his wife

However, according to reports single dad, Rio – who tragically lost his wife Rebecca in 2015 – is hesitant to develop their romance into anything too serious as he’s focussed on raising his three children.

‘Rio and Kate have enjoyed spending time with each other with other friends. There’s a real connection there but Rio is in no rush to turn this into a serious relationship,’ a source revealed to The Sun last month.

‘His number one priority are his three kids and he will always put their welfare in front of anything else. But Kate is very smitten with him and therefore happy to wait and see what happens.’

Aw. Maybe Rio will make a surprise TOWIE appearance? The again, maybe not…