James "Arg" Argent has declared himself to be the Ken Barlow of "The Only Way is Essex".
The 30-year-old reality TV star believes his longevity on the show, and his ongoing on-off relationship with Gemma Collins, make him a pillar of "Towie".
Arg said at the launch of series 22: "I wouldn't say I was the King of Essex, I would say I was the Ken Barlow of "Towie"! I'm the king in terms of longevity.
"As long as the show runs, I'll still be on it. There's no "Towie" without Arg."
William Roache, who plays Ken in "Coronation Street", is the world's longest-serving television actor, having starred in the ITV soap since it began in 1960. Whilst Arg has been on the ITVBe programme since it began in 2010, although he did take a break from the show in early 2017 and did not appear in series 20.
Arg added: "I've matured into a nice, caring young man. I'd like to think that I'm still very similar to how I was when the show started. I'm still humble, friendly and me."
And he insists that he and Gemma are just friends at the moment, but teased their relationship will "unfold" on the new series.
He said: "I think me and Gemma is the greatest "Towie" love story, because of the ups and downs.
"I'm sure it will be a rollercoaster as per usual but the plan is for us to run smoothly and for us to see how our relationship unfolds.
"Our current relationship is happy, close but still up in the air. The best of friends, she's my bestie."