Mark Wright cried when his best friend James Arg Argent revealed he had crept up to 26 stone.
Arg voiced his fears he could die if he doesn’t have gastric surgery after doctors issued him with a stark warning.
Weight piled on during lockdown after the former TOWIE star replaced booze and drugs with fast food and quit exercising.
His best friend Mark was gutted when Arg confided in him he was nearly 27 stone.
Arg told The Sun : “Mark is my inspiration — he’s got his life together, he’s fit and healthy, he’s got a gorgeous wife and a successful career. There’s no reason why I can’t achieve all of those things too when I’ve lost weight.
“He wants to help me and told me ‘get on the scales’. It’s embarrassing to say, but they were so upset when they saw I was nearly 27 stone.
“We used to banter because I was always the chubby one, but this time Mark just said ‘Arg, this isn’t even funny anymore, this is serious’.”
Surgery could cost the star around £10,000.
Options include a bypass where part of the stomach is stapled together to make it smaller or a sleeve gastrectomy where most of the stomach is completely removed.
Mark and Arg go way back and Mark has never left his best friend’s side during troubled times.
Football ace Mark was left fearing for his best pal’s life at the height of the star’s cocaine addiction just before Christmas last year.
Arg had suffered two near-fatal overdoses as he battled with a cocaine addiction but he refused Mark’s attempts to get him help at rehab.
He told Loose Women: “I called up [the counsellor] and said what could I do? I’ve taken every step. He just said to me sometimes you let them hit rock bottom and know they need help.
“You can’t do anything else. I asked, what if he dies? It’s the risk you have to take.”
He added: “Just before Christmas 2019, last year, there were some bad moments.”
At the time, it was a relief for Mark when Arg text him asking for help on Boxing Day.
Arg has been single since his split from his on/off girlfriend Gemma Collins.