After a year from hell, TOWIE's Arg finally smiles again as he puts the past behind him

The Only Way Is Essex star James ‘Arg’ Argent hasn’t had the best time of it lately.

After his life fell apart in 2014, he’s battled his way up from rock bottom to win back his TV career, friends and his friendship with the love of his life Lydia Bright.

In our emotional exclusive interview, Arg reveals drinking and endless nights out almost ruined his life and saw him checking himself into The Priory rehabilitation centre to deal with his depression and anxiety issues.

And now, after losing over one and a half stone, and starting a healthy eating plan, the loveable TOWIE star is finally smiling again on set of our photoshoot as he reveals in our behind the scenes video he’s ‘happy’ and is in a ‘great place’.

Arg, you had fame, money and a role in one of TV’s top shows. What happened?

The truth is I changed. 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 become 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, I couldn’t get enough.

Did you cheat on Lydia?

Yes, I did. I’d go to nightclubs and do personal appearances and there’d be girls everywhere. I went through two years of just behaving really badly – partying, getting a bigger and bigger ego. Then as soon as she broke up with me I realised the only thing I wanted was to be with her and I was totally heart broken.

When did things start to get out of control?

I wish I could say. It was just a gradual thing. I started to feel really bad about myself. I wanted to be back with Lydia, but everyone told me it wasn’t going to happen. She’d moved on. She was doing interesting things with her life and didn’t need me. So I’d just go and get off my head.

Read James ‘Arg’ Argent‘s full interview in this week’s Now magazine dated 16 February 2015 – download the digital edition now!

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Joshua Fox