The Only Way Is Essex star Junaid Ahmed has revealed the cause of the ‘explosive’ row between him and castmate Amber Turner which airs this Sunday on ITVBe.
Chatting to hosts Bobby Norris and Stephen Leng on the showbiz gossip programme Access All Areas, the reality star opened up about his past friendship with Amber saying: “Me and Amber were really good friends and have been for so many years, we would go on holiday together and have nights out, everything we did was all in one little group.”
He continued: “Come to the start of this year, I got closer with Ella [Rae Wise], Dani [Imbert]. And obviously Yaz [Oukhellou] came back from Dubai, we all started going out together a lot.
They [Girlband] just completely dropped me, the whole friendship group dropped me. For me it was like what have I personally done to any of you… I just felt there was a bit of tension between like my original group and who I was friends with now and then obviously it all unravelled on the show.”
The 27-year-old spoke candidly about how he doesn’t see himself reconciling with Amber any time soon: “It’s hard for me because obviously I was friends with her for several years and even when I was friends with her, I felt that I was always walking on eggshells around her … some days she’s nice, some days she’s not.”
He then went on to say: “On the show you see my emotions come out, there is so much throughout the years I’ve kept in. I thought, do you know what, I’m just going to say what I think. I said it all and I think from that point onwards we’re never going to make up, we’re never going to be friends, I’m not her biggest fan and we leave it as that.”
Later in the interview, Ahmed discussed his motivation behind wanting to appear on the show, saying that he aspired to be a role model to young gay, Muslim men: “When I look back on when I was 18 years old, there was no one I could look up to in the industry or ‘out’ in public that I could be inspired by. I come from a Muslim background, I’m Pakistani, and my parents don’t agree with what I do, we don’t have any communication, so I am a one-man band.”
He continued: “The sad thing is there is not one openly gay, Asian, Muslim reality star out there… so, if I could take the stance and kind of showcase them it’s fine. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been through my hardship … but I still found happiness in the end, and I am still trying to do what I can to make others happy as well.”
Listen to the full episode of Access All Areas, also featuring Kitty Scott-Claus here.