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Joey Turner looks happy and healthy as he steps out with friends in Soho

Then and now: Joey Turner appeared to have put on some weight during an appearance in London on Thursday after worrying social media followers with his skinny appearance in a series of Instagram posts

EXCLUSIVE: Joey Turner looks happy and healthy as he hangs out with friends in Soho – after admitting he ‘barely ate’ and leaving TOWIE made him feel like he was going “crazy”

Instagram filters, cryptic messages and provocative poses seemed to be a thing of the past as Joey Turner ventured into London on Thursday.

Accompanied by a male friend, former The Only Way Is Essex cast member Joey looked particularly healthy as he browsed the shops in bustling Soho.

Somewhat encouragingly, the former fashion school student appears to have put on some weight after worrying social media followers with his skinny appearance in a series of Instagram posts.

Then and now: Joey Turner appeared to have put on some weight during an appearance in London on Thursday after worrying social media followers with his skinny appearance in a series of Instagram posts

Then and now: Joey Turner appeared to have put on some weight during an appearance in London on Thursday after worrying social media followers with his skinny appearance in a series of Instagram posts

Then and now: The former fashion school student appears to have put on some weight after worrying social media followers with his skinny appearance in a series of Instagram posts

Everything changes: Instagram filters, cryptic messages and provocative poses seemed to be a thing of the past as Turner ventured out with a friend

Everything changes: Instagram filters, cryptic messages and provocative poses seemed to be a thing of the past as Turner ventured out with a friend

Enjoying a day in the bustling West End shopping district, Turner looked relaxed in a gray hoodie top and baggy jeans paired with white trainers.

The former TV personality carried a forest green tote bag over one arm, while his hair was styled in a simple side parting in contrast to the drastic undercut he launched in January.

Turner was featured on ITV’s reality show The Only Way Is Essex in 2019 and strikes up friendships with cast members Chloe Brockett, Ella Rae Wise and Kelsey Stratford.

Relaxed: Accompanied by a male friend, former The Only Way Is Essex cast member Joey looked particularly healthy as he browsed the shops in bustling Soho

Relaxed: Accompanied by a male friend, former The Only Way Is Essex cast member Joey looked particularly healthy as he browsed the shops in bustling Soho

Upbeat: Enjoying a day in the bustling West End shopping district, Turner looked relaxed in a gray hooded top and baggy jeans paired with white trainers

Upbeat: Enjoying a day in the bustling West End shopping district, Turner looked relaxed in a gray hooded top and baggy jeans paired with white trainers

In one memorable scene, the former TV personality dated Olivia Attwood, with whom he developed a close bond, over dinner, but he eventually quit the show to take a fashion design course in 2021.

He has since divided followers on social media with a series of alarming posts in which he appeared skinny and ill, sparking a mix of worried posts and vitriolic online abuse.

He told The Sun at the time: “The thing is, I’ve always had a long, thin frame, I’m 5ft 11in [180cm] so I’m quite tall and I’ve always had a long build. I may have lost weight, but not because I’m starving.

‘I weigh 7.5 stones [47kg], but I don’t weigh myself. I don’t care about my weight. I’m skinny, I can’t help being skinny. I’m not going to apologize to anyone.

Finishing touches: The former TV personality carried a forest green tote bag over one arm, while her hair was styled in a simple side parting

Finishing touches: The former TV personality carried a forest green tote bag over one arm, while her hair was styled in a simple side parting

Concern: Turner recently opened up about his struggles coping with his fame after appearing on TOWIE and how he turned to partying to cope

Concern: Turner recently opened up about his struggles coping with his fame after appearing on TOWIE and how he turned to partying to cope

Don't bother me: Turner mingled with other shoppers while venturing into the West End

Don't bother me: Turner mingled with other shoppers while venturing into the West End

Don’t bother me: Turner mingled with other shoppers while venturing into the West End

Lots to say: The former TV personality chatted with a friend during her last outing

Lots to say: The former TV personality chatted with a friend during her last outing

Turner later admitted he barely ate and drank every day after he reached ‘breaking point’ following his departure from The Only Way Is Essex.

Speaking to The Sun, he described the difficult consequences of leaving the show and how his life spiraled out of control – saying he felt like he was going “crazy”.

He said: ‘I left TOWIE to go to college and do my own thing. But I was constantly hunted like an animal. Just because I’m in the audience doesn’t mean I’m not human, it’s like people forget that.

“When I look at these photos I posted I can see how sad I look. I was living and enduring my emotions and through my eyes I was describing this. I didn’t have time to eat. I was so busy at such a young age.

Walk this way: Turner admitted he barely ate and drank every day after reaching 'breaking point' following his departure from The Only Way Is Essex

Walk this way: Turner admitted he barely ate and drank every day after reaching ‘breaking point’ following his departure from The Only Way Is Essex

In the good old days: Joey at the NTAs in September 2019, before his drastic weight loss sparked concerns on social media

In the good old days: Joey at the NTAs in September 2019, before his drastic weight loss sparked concerns on social media

He's happy: The former TOWIE star laughed and joked as he browsed the stores on Thursday

He's happy: The former TOWIE star laughed and joked as he browsed the stores on Thursday

He’s happy: The former TOWIE star laughed and joked as he browsed the stores on Thursday

Striking: Turner in one of Instagram's provocative posts that has social media followers divided

Striking: Turner in one of Instagram’s provocative posts that has social media followers divided

Tough: Turner previously described the difficult aftermath of his departure from the show and how his life spiraled out of control - saying he felt like he was going 'crazy'

Tough: Turner previously described the difficult aftermath of his departure from the show and how his life spiraled out of control – saying he felt like he was going ‘crazy’

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