JAMES 'Arg' Argent has revealed that he and his Towie ex Lydia Bright are "extremely close" again in an exclusive interview with The Sun.
The 33-year-old star spoke highly of his childhood sweetheart, admitting that they've so far kept their improved relationship "behind closed doors".
The pair first started dating when they were teens, and shot to fame together when their rocky eight-year romance was documented on ITVBe series The Only Way Is Essex.
They ultimately went their separate ways five years ago, with Arg going on to have a similarly turbulent romance with fellow Towie co-star Gemma Collins.
Arg beamed as he spoke of his "first love" in our new interview, telling us: "Me and Lydia are extremely close again — we have kept that low-key and behind closed doors.
“Obviously she’s had a beautiful baby and she’s a single mother now. We were together years before Towie existed or before either of us were in the public eye.
“She’s a real friend and she and her mum have been an incredible support to me.
“I’m very fond of Lydia. I’m lucky to have her in my life and for us to be such close friends."
In February, 30-year-old Lydia told fans that she is "very good friends" with Arg as she shared a sweet snap of him FaceTiming her baby daughter Loretta.
She opened up about their current relationship during an Instagram Q&A, where a curious fan asked: "Do you and Arg still speak?"
The blonde beauty replied: "Yes, we are very good friends.
"He has always remained best friends with my mum and younger brother Tommy."
Proving her point, the single mum shared a screenshot of Loretta enjoying a video call with her ex.
The little girl is staring at the camera, held by her grandmother Debbie – who is beaming at the little girl.
In the top corner, Arg can be seen grinning – obviously enjoying the interaction.
In 2016, The Sun reported that Lydia and Arg had split for good when she allegedly caught him using cocaine after he relapsed following a stint in rehab.
They later reunited for a night of passion on a Towie holiday, but there were fireworks when it later emerged that he had also slept with Gemma on the same day.
She is currently single after splitting from Loretta's dad while pregnant, but has embraced being a single mum with the support of her family.
Meanwhile, Arg and Gemma suffered another bitter split last year due to his drug addiction, with Arg telling us that he is "completely single at the moment".
The Sun exclusively revealed yesterday that Arg has had a gastric op to help him lose 12 stone after doctors warned he was "so fat he could die".
Now Arg is focusing on himself, sharing: "I want to put my health first, that’s number one. The most important thing is to remain clean and sober.
“I’ve been clean and sober for a year and three months now. I feel I’m ready to tackle my weight."
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