The Wanted’s Max George has joined ITV’s The Games replacing Mark Wright, who reportedly quit the show over text after filming had already begun.
Mark, 35, is married to Our Girl star Michelle Keegan, 34, who was engaged to Max, 33, after three years together which ended in 2012.
Insiders claim signing Max is a swipe against Mark, who angered bosses over his abrupt quitting.
A source told The Sun: ‘Max has been drafted in to replace Mark on the show and it’s caused a real stir.
‘For some it’s become a joke behind the scenes at ITV.
‘If they can’t have Michelle Keegan’s husband – they’ll have her former fiancé.’
The source added that ITV bosses have been ‘left a really bad taste in their mouth’ after Mark quit the show, and hiring his wife’s ex is a way to get back at him: ‘Max is the cherry on the cake.’
Reports from last week claimed the former The Only Way Is Essex star has now been banned by ITV.
Max will be taking his place alongside former Love Islander Wes Nelson and Coronation Street actor Colson Smith in the new ITV sports challenge show.
Filming has been pushed back a number of times due to the pandemic, and although hosts have yet to be confirmed, rumours are circulating around Freddie Flintoff and Holly Willoughby, with Christine McGuinness also thrown into the mix.
In December, a source said: ‘The makers of [The Games] are casting the stars at the moment and they have been in discussions with Christine about the possibility of her taking part.
‘Christine is becoming a really popular telly star and at the moment she is seriously in demand.
‘As a character, Christine has such an interesting back story as a working mum to three children with autism, and bosses know that viewers
would relate to her.
‘Christine is also incredibly physically fit and would be up for all the challenges the series would put her through.’
Max is currently dating mum-of-two and ex-wife of Ryan Giggs, Stacey Giggs.
The couple have been together since 2019.
The Games will see 12 celebrities battle it out across different athletic competitions in a week-long event.
The Games will air on ITV later this year.