Exclusive content from Episode 6 of The Only Way is Essex. Lauren dishes the dirt on Mark and tells us all about the fabuous success of Essex Fashion Week.
How was Essex Fashion Week?
Amazing. A great response. All the models and the clothes looked great and we had a brilliant time. I really enjoyed presenting and hosting, we worked really well as a team so I was really pleased with it. I had a wicked night.
This new job seems like a fresh start for you…
Definitely. The thing is, I've always done a few events, promotion work and stuff like that. I like to have a good time and I'm quite an organised person. My past job in the City got very boring and I was waiting for something to come along in a better working environment. This definitely suits my personality a lot more than just sitting in an office (laughs). And it's nice – the guys, I've built up quite a friendship with them. Adam is one of my best mates now for life.
There seems to be a bit of chemistry between you and Adam, your boss…
(Laughs) Yeah… It's nothing like that at all. Adam's a very good friend. If anything, he's more like a brother figure to me. He's very good to talk to, we have a great laugh but there's nothing romantic or fancy in it.
Do you think he sees it that way?
Obviously meeting him, he was like "Oh, you're lovely, you're beautiful, you're hot, you're my girl and I've got your back". Now he's like "You're my mate" and that's it, do you know what I mean? I talk to him about Mark and he gives me advice but he's not come across to me in any way like flirting or anything.
You walked down the catwalk with Mark at Essex Fashion Week...
Me and Mark walked down the catwalk together and there was a tear because of the whole situation with us… Everyone cheered but it was very awkward ‘cos I hadn't really spoken to him. But it was nice. It was funny. I had a laugh and it sort of broke the ice a little bit, I think.
Because recently, you've only seen him when he's with Lucy…
It's uncomfortable. It's very raw. I didn't think it was completely over. We was either going to work it out or not. It was just a shock of how it came round from the speed dating night of him telling me not to move on, "I don't want to see you with anyone else" and I was like "Well, you do what you want to do. If you don't want to be with me anymore, then move on". They were my words. I wasn't telling him to move on. I said IF you don't care about me anymore, then move on. And he took the choice of bringing this other girl into it and I don't know what's behind it. We're not together but it's awkward because we weren't a hundred percent over.
And your reaction to Lucy?
Mark and me still have strong feelings for each other. That's why I've reacted the way I have to this girl coming into my office knowing exactly who I am. As Mark says, it's an Essex bubble. Everyone knows everyone. Well then, she must have known about our relationship and what type of girl would come into it? But that's up to her. I dealt with it the way I did. I was hurt and I reacted, you know? But I'm over that now, hopefully. At the fashion show, she was there, I was there and I was too busy to care. I've got past it now.
Do you think you've changed a lot since we first saw you?
I'm different now to the way I was, the way I felt. Things are a lot clearer and I'm stronger in myself ‘cos I'm finding my two feet again. So, you know, it's making me a stronger person. He hit me at a weak point obviously with me leaving work and my flat… And now I feel like I'm finding myself again. I'm happy, I'm making new friends, I'm getting my life back and I'm happier today that me and Mark are friends again, I don't want to be enemies ‘cos that just makes things difficult.
Can exes ever be friends though? Doesn't seeing him stir up old emotions?
Yeah, of course. It still hurts. Everything's still fresh and he feels the same. He is very upset if he thinks that I'm speaking to anyone. He doesn't want me to move on but he's being very selfish because it's all well and good to rub this other girl in my face but I'm not allowed to do anything myself, so that's not very fair. I don't know what his reasons are. It might be genuine but then I know that Mark's not over me either through our conversations.
So after everything that's happened, do you think you'll get back with Mark or does your future lie elsewhere?
That's a difficult one…. Because, I'd like to say that my life is moving forward now, away from Mark as a boyfriend but I don't know where I'm going to be in five year's time. Regardless of the way he's treated me I can never say never because we are still talking, but for me personally – it's time for me to move on. I'm ready to take those steps because I know the way he treated me was no good for me. And I'm a lot stronger now. I can see and I've never seen it before. It's opened my eyes to a lot really. So, I would never say never but at the minute, I'm moving forward.