Former Towie star James Argent is said to be hopeful of returning to show - nearly two years after he was banned for taking drug.

James, who has recently undergone gastric band surgery in order to shed weight, is understood to be making a cameo appearance in co-stars Georgia Kousoulou and Tommy Mallett's new spinoff show.

And with previous problems with weight and drugs now seemingly behind him, a happier and healthier Arg is said to be eyeing up a return to Towie once again.

A TV insider told MailOnline: "James was thrilled to be back filming on Friday. He's spent the last six months focusing on his mental and physical health and now finally he's starting to feel the benefits.

"His relationship with Lime Pictures is also on the up, which he hopes will one day mean he can rejoin TOWIE and put everything that's happened in the past behind him."

Towie producers had cut ties with James back in May 2019 after he tested positive for cocaine.

It came after a similar incident saw him suspended back in 2015.

Last year, James spoke about his battle with addiction and told how he hit 'rock bottom'.

He said: 'I was at rock bottom. My heart was beating out of my chest, my nose was bleeding, I was shaking and my breathing was terrible.

'My family were banging on the door screaming, "Open up" but I wasn't answering the door to anyone. They feared I'd overdosed and was dead in the house.”

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James was in a lot more positive frame of mind following his gastric surgery earlier this year.

He had opted for the surgery after hitting 27 stone during lockdown and doctors had warned him catching coronavirus could prove fatal.

Speaking about the surgery and improvements being made in his life, he told ITV’s Loose Women: “I’m so pleased, sitting here today, two and a half weeks after the operation, gradually weight is coming off each and every day.

“I’m going on long walks, I’m feeling happier, I’m feeling healthier, I’m starting to feel like my old self again.

“I think I definitely made the right decision. This is really going to be a positive new chapter for me. I’m buzzing.

“Since I started the pre-op diet, just before the surgery, as of today I’ve lost already 2.5 stone, which is a great start.

“I’m absolutely over the moon with that. I’m starting to recognise myself in the mirror again, the confidence is starting to come back, my looks are coming back.

“So I’m just really, really pleased. I don’t feel depressed, I just feel positive. Obviously there’s tough days, it’s a big operation and it’s a big life change for me. But I’m just so glad I went ahead.”