Mark Wright has heaped praise on James Argent as he continues to lose weight following gastric sleeve surgery.
The Sky Sports News presenter, 34, revealed he’s been mentoring his best friend, 33, who has already lost four stone in the two months since his operation.
Mark, who is currently working with Booking.com for their #RivalsReUnited Euros campaign, exclusively told MailOnline: ‘Arg is doing very well, exceptionally well, I’m so, so proud of him.’
Cheering him on: Mark Wright, 34, has praised James Argent, 33, following his gastric sleeve surgery, exclusively telling MailOnline: ‘He’s doing very well, exceptionally well’
James underwent gastric sleeve surgery in April after his weight rose to nearly 27 stone. He is currently on a mission to lose six stone by Christmas and has aspirations to swim the English Channel once he’s fitter.
Mark has been on hand to encourage his former TOWIE co-star, giving him a nudge in the right direction from time to time.
He explained: ‘With Arg it’s all about motivation, just keeping him motivated, just giving him compliments and telling him that he can do it.
‘We’ve trained together a couple of times and just changing his lifestyle really. Making sure he gets up and getting the workout done first thing because otherwise he won’t.
Making changes: James recently underwent gastric sleeve surgery after his weight rose to nearly 27 stone and he has already shed more than four stone (seen left in 2019, right in May)
‘Just going through the motions and helping him live how I live. Dieting and eating the right foods and letting him know that he doesn’t have to eat the bad foods that sometimes he chooses.
‘He’s doing really, really well and I think within a few months we’re going to see a really huge change in him. He’s going to look the best he’s ever looked.
‘He’s doing very well, exceptionally well, I’m so, so proud of him.’
On the rise: Mark (pictured with Olly Murs) currently presents Sky Sports’ Euro 2020 breakfast programme and will be attending the England v Scotland match at Wembley on Friday
Heart Radio host Mark, who currently presents Sky Sports’ Euro 2020 breakfast programme, will be attending the England v Scotland match at Wembley on Friday.
He is working with Booking.com to bring opposing fans together with six in 10 English and Scottish football fans being enemies on the pitch but friends off of it.
Yet Mark admitted he’ll be keeping things harmonious between his own family and his wife Michelle Keegan’s during the game.
Peacemaker: Former Extra US entertainment reporter Mark admits he’ll be keeping things harmonious between his and wife Michelle Keegan’s families during the football match
He revealed: ‘Before the match I would probably play music, throw a party because England and Scots both love a party.
‘I love my music and I love DJing, obviously what with being on Heart and stuff. So that’s how I’d probably unite fans and then say lets go and have a football match and then the rivalry would begin.
‘My wife’s half Scottish, my wife’s dad’s Scottish, so she’ll be cheering on Scotland hugely and I’ll be cheering on England hugely but we still love each other because we’re father-in-law and son-in-law.’
Loved-up: Half Scottish Michelle Keegan, 34, will be cheering on Scotland while Mark will support England during Friday’s game in the UK after the pair recently returned from Portugal
Mark previously played football himself, with a youth career at West Ham United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur before he appeared on The Only Way Is Essex for three series.
He began a senior career at Southend United but moved on to nightclub promoting before he rose to fame.
And he says he is now living his dream hosting the breakfast show on Sky Sports News throughout the Euros 2020, with the broadcaster chatting to the likes of Wayne Rooney on the programme this week.
Living the dream: Mark chatted to Wayne Rooney on the Sky Sports News breakfast show this week and will be appearing throughout the Euros 2020
He admitted: ‘I always had a vision when I did that show (TOWIE). I knew it would put me on the ladder in the entertainment, TV and broadcasting world and I had to make something of that
‘There’s of course a massive benefit of doing a show like that because you get one foot on the ladder but also trying to get out of that and to be taken seriously can take a while because that’s what you’re known from.
‘Sports broadcaster is a dream job for me because before all that TV stuff I started, my job was playing football. I loved it all my life and now I’m presenting a huge show on Sky Sports News which is obviously a huge channel so I have to pinch myself and I can’t believe it’s actually happening.’
Blast from the past: Mark (pictured far right) appeared on the first three series of The Only Way Is Essex on ITV2 from 2010
Mark attempted to reignite his career on the pitch when he signed to play for Crawley Town last December but was released by the club in May.
When quizzed on whether he’d trade the path he’s followed through reality TV and entertainment for a successful football career, Mark pondered: ‘It’s a very good question and one that’s hard to answer. I quit [football] when I was 21 and I’m probably at the age now when I would slow down and retire
‘I’ve had an amazing, amazing time for the last 10 or 11 years since being in this world.
Giving it another go: Mark signed to Crawley Town in December last year but was released by the club in May
‘I’ve had freedom and being a footballer you don’t get that much freedom, you know, you get four to five weeks a year when maybe you’re free and the rest of the time you’re eating correctly, sleeping correctly, drinking correctly, training.
‘It’s brutal and people, they comment on footballers’ lives and say, “How can they get paid that much to kick a ball around?”
‘Well, it’s nonsense because you don’t understand what goes into it, it’s not just a few hours a day that you kick a ball around, it’s what they give up day to day.
‘In terms of a career, I feel like I’m not even started yet, I’m still getting going so if I was a footballer I’d be coming to an end now, so this has got more longevity.
‘The last 10, 11 years have been incredible doing what I’ve been doing so I probably wouldn’t change it although it would be a very, very tough decision.’
And on what’ we can expect next from Mark, he concluded: ‘There’s something coming up that I’m very, very excited about hopefully in the summer that’s away from TV and radio but is definitely going to be of interest to people…
‘I think when things open back up I’d like to get to America again and do a bit of the show I worked for, Extra, I loved the guys over there.
‘I’m someone that just likes to flout around, I believe there’s no rules in life in terms of business, fun, travel. I just enjoy doing everything and, you know, there’s nothing I can’t do.’
Keeping fit: Mark has been using his sports background and fitness knowledge to help his friend James in bid to lose weight