James ‘Arg’ Argent says Tom Parker’s presence was felt at funeral as he remembers close friend

James ‘Arg’ Argent has spoken about Tom Parker’s funeral as he was laid to rest following his tragic death last month, aged just 33. The Wanted singer’s celebration of life took place on Wednesday (March 20) with his heartbroken wife Kelsey leading the mourners .

She had invited fans to line the streets ahead of the service for family and friends at the St Francis of Assisi church in Petts Wood, south-east London which was then played on to screens outside.

Tom’s death came 17 months after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2020. He revealed the news of his diagnosis to fans in October 2020 when Kelsey, was pregnant with their second child, Bodhi, who is now one. The couple, who married in 2018, also shared two-year-old daughter, Aurelia.

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During the service, Kelsey shared a beautiful pre-record message to the congregation and to her ‘soulmate’ husband after he was carried into the church with the help of his The Wanted bandmates Max George, Nathan Sykes, Jay McGuinness, and Siva Kaneswaran .

Max and Siva also stood up in the church and shared their own emotional tributes during the poignant service, which heavily featured music, remembering his ‘punch-ups’ as well as praising his ‘big Boltonian heart’ in emotional funeral tributes.

Speaking on Thursday’s Good Morning Britain the day after attending the funeral with former girlfriend Lydia Bright, Arg told Kate Garraway and Richard Bacon: “It was obviously extremely sad at times and it was tough for everyone, however, there was really special, beautiful moments throughout the day.

Arg appeared on Good Morning Britain

“It really felt like Tom’s presence was there from the music and some of the speeches. You almost had that element of Tom’s banter, charm, and charisma. The sun was shining and it just couldn’t have gone any better.”

The former The Only Way is Essex star was then asked about his unlikely friendship with the late singer, from Bolton, which Arg said started when they met on series three of The Jump, a former Channel 4 show, in 2016. “We literally lived together for six weeks and spent every day in and out of each other’s pockets,” the reality star said.

“We created so many amazing memories and me and Tom formed a good friendship. I became really close to his partner Kelsey,” Arg added before explaining he had checked in with her before appearing on GMB to check it was OK, to which she more than obliged as she wanted people to remember how ‘incredible’ Tom was and raise awareness.

Arg met Tom in 2016 when they appeared on Channel 4’s The Jump together

“She’s going to be working hard building up a foundation,” he said. “Kelsey was Tom’s rock and the reason why he was so strong and doing so well for so long was because of her hard work, love, and support from her and I think she wants to continue to help others.”

Arg also laughed as he recalled appearing on ITV’s The Real Full Monty with Tom in 2018, two years before he was diagnosed with cancer. “Both of us literally stopped off butt naked live on television and I’ll never forget nights like that. I remember us having a spray so together and he was looking at me and looked down and said, ‘Arg you’re in trouble’ “.

Tom also helped Arg through his own struggles with his weight and drugs. “He was a spiritual person and he was always giving advice and was also very caring and loving and we all adored him. I was singing at his engagement party and I even sung at Tom and Kelsey’s baby bump party.”

Following Tom’s funeral, Arg took to Instagram to share an old selfie of him and Kelsey. “Love you @being_kelsey I’m so proud of you.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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