Mark Wright reveals he ‘hated his life’ after watching it on Towie and wanted to quit after being portrayed as a 'donut'
MARK Wright has revealed he "hated his life" when he watched his very first episode of The Only Way Is Essex.
The former reality star, 34, also admitted he was keen to make a quick exit from the show to further his career after being portrayed as a "bit of a donut".
Speaking on The Harry Redknapp Show podcast to ex footy manager Harry and co-host Dodge Woodall, Mark said: "We started filming it and then the first episode went out, and I remember they filmed us watching, actually you can watch it back because they were going to put it as part of the episode.
"I watched it back and I hated my life, because I've come from football, East End family, and then it was half of the kind of crew going 'Shut up!' and all this, and I'm watching me being part of it."
Mark starred in the first three series of the ITVBe show in 2010 and 2011. Despite his initial pained reaction, Mark insisted it soon won him round and he looks back on it fondly.
He continued: "By the way I'm not ashamed of it. I absolutely loved it, but the first episode I watched I was like 'what have I done'.
"I kind of sunk into the chair and I think I said to the camera crew 'you’ve got to leave my house. I need a couple of days to figure out what I want to do.' Then once I relaxed and realised what it was, and it was a bit of tongue in cheek and a bit of fun, it kind of blew up from there."
Out of dozens and dozens of cast members over the years, Mark has been one of the show's biggest success stories.
He used it as a springboard to land a spot on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in which he finished as runner-up in 2012 to McFly's Dougie Poynter.
From there he went on to become a regular player in star-studded charity football match Soccer Aid and co-hosted American entertainment series Extra, interviewing A-listers such as Kim Kardashian to Jamie Foxx.
Along the way he struck up a relationship with his wife Michelle Keegan, and the pair have grown into a multi-millionaire bona fide power couple.
When Mark's football career faltered in his late teens and Towie took off, a media career was always in his sights.
He continued: "Straight away I said in my head, right, how am I going to turn this into something bigger and I knew I needed to leave quickly and do the jungle to show the real me, because I was a bit of a donut on that show, I wanted to just go straight into TV presenting. And that’s kind of what I did you know."
The Heart Radio host recently made his professional football debut for Crawley Town in the FA Cup, coming on in the dying minutes of their clash with Leeds United.
And such is his ability, former Spurs boss Harry told him he could have easily been a Championship player.
He said: "I see you playing, and I don’t see any way really that you shouldn't have made it and I mean that. You’ve got a left foot like a magic wand, and you’re a really good player.
"I came back from the first time I saw you and I said he could play in the Championship no problem."
The Harry Redknapp Show podcast with Mark Wright is out Tuesday 26/01 available on Spotify, Apple Music, Global Player and Amazon Prime, with new episodes every Tuesday
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