Having been a part of the cast since series one, Lydia confirmed that she would be stepping down from the reality show earlier this year.
Speaking to HuffPost UK on ‘BUILD’, she spoke fondly of her time on the show, but admitted there’s one aspect she’s not going to miss.
She explained: “I always say with ‘TOWIE’, basically, if you’re going through a great time, that is heightened.
“You get to speak about it with everyone, it’s so exciting, you’re on such a buzz, and everywhere you go people want to talk about it. So it’s brilliant, and it’s an even bigger high.
“But equally, when you’re going through a bad time on ‘TOWIE’, that is made a hundred times worse, because that’s all anybody wants to talk about. And if you’re going through a breakup, for example, all you want to do is shut yourself away and not talk about that person.”
Reflecting on her own personal drama being aired in front of the nation, she recalled: “If I broke up with James [Argent, her ex-boyfriend]... I’d have to see him the next day. Who wants to see their ex-boyfriend the next day? And that’s why on ‘TOWIE’ you get a lot of breakups and make-ups.
“When I wasn’t on ‘TOWIE’ and I took that big year and a half out, I never bumped into James once. And then I came back and that week I bumped into him seven times.
“But that’s what the show does and that’s how they create the drama. The show is very real in the sense that everything that you say is what you want to say. But they set up the environment, and they make sure that the wrong person walks into a place at the wrong time.”
During her interview, Lydia also revealed that her mum, Debbie Douglas - who also announced she was quitting ‘TOWIE’ at the same time as Lydia - had previously been banned from her Essex boutique, as her casual putdowns didn’t sit well with the clientele.
Watch Lydia’s full ‘BUILD’ interview below: