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James Argent starts training for swim between Europe and Africa with three hour dip off the freezing Kent coast

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JAMES ‘Arg’ Argent plunged into the freezing sea in Kent as he prepared for the challenge of a lifetime.

The 32-year-old former Towie star, who had two near-fatal drug overdoses last year, is determined to swim to Africa.

James Argent emerged from the sea as he prepares to swim to Africa

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James Argent emerged from the sea as he prepares to swim to AfricaCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA

And it looks like he means business ahead of battling the shark-infested waters, going on a three-hour workout in the English Channel.

Arg was seen getting greased up to prevent chafing – a serious problem for distance swimmers – before clambering into the waves.

Our exclusive pictures show the reality TV favourite braving the cold water in tight trunks, gold swimming hat and goggles.

He was also seen on his back in the seas by the town of Deal in Kent, hurling one of his Adidas flip-flops into the air.

The star was seen being greased up before he headed into the waves

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The star was seen being greased up before he headed into the wavesCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA
Arg was being filmed by a crew while in a pair of super-tight shorts

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Arg was being filmed by a crew while in a pair of super-tight shortsCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA
He is taking on a extraordinary challenge by swimming to Africa

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He is taking on a extraordinary challenge by swimming to AfricaCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA

Another snap saw the star being pulled up by a helper while a cameraman in a fleece filmed all the action.

He emerged after swimming back and forth in the English Channel for three hours looking red and exhausted to a round of applause.

Arg is celebrating almost a year of sobriety after kicking drugs by taking on the perilous challenge.

It will see him dodge sharks, jellyfish – and vast ocean-going tankers – on the ten-mile international journey between Spain and Morocco.

At one point it looked like he was getting washed up on the beach

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At one point it looked like he was getting washed up on the beachCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA
James looked a little chilly as he bobbed about in the waters off Kent

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James looked a little chilly as he bobbed about in the waters off KentCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA
The star was shown throwing one of his flip-flops up into the sky

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The star was shown throwing one of his flip-flops up into the skyCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA

As The Sun revealed this week, Arg is filming the bizarre feat, known as the Strait of Gibraltar Crossing, for TV.

A source said: “It’s a mad thing to undergo, but Arg is at his best with a goal in mind.

“He’s told mates he’s determined to stay fit and well after a good year of doing so, so he is undertaking this as a challenge to himself.

“It’s a lot shorter crossing than the English Channel swim, and in warmer waters, but it’ll be more difficult than a few lengths in an Essex leisure centre.

He swam backwards and forwards in the water for three gruelling hours

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He swam backwards and forwards in the water for three gruelling hoursCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA
At one point the Towie veteran disappeared leaving only a cascade of water

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At one point the Towie veteran disappeared leaving only a cascade of waterCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA
Arg was photographed on his back in the water with a solitary flip-flop on

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Arg was photographed on his back in the water with a solitary flip-flop onCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA

“He’ll have to train hard to finish it without being eaten by a shark or splatted by a ship.”

Arg does have some skills in the water – he signed up for Channel 4’s Sink Or Swim, a charity cross-Channel swim for charity Stand Up To Cancer.

However, bad weather meant the feat, also due to be undertaken by Alex Brooker, Sair Khan and Wes Nelson, was cancelled.

James has lost a staggering five stone in recent months, recently being spotted in the water in sunnier climes – popping up at a juice retreat in Portugal.

He was helped back onto the beach while a cameraman filmed the action

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He was helped back onto the beach while a cameraman filmed the actionCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA
James glugged back some well-deserved water on the beach in Deal

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James glugged back some well-deserved water on the beach in DealCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA
James ‘Arg’ Argent breaks down on Loose Women saying he feels ‘terrible’ over the agony his drug abuse has caused his family  
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