Lauren Goodger admits she doesn't "hate" being known as Mark Wright's ex-girlfriend.

Lauren Goodger

Lauren Goodger

The former 'Only Way Is Essex' star dated the hunk on and off for 11 years before the pair split for good in 2011, and the brunette beauty revealed she can't escape being linked to the TV personality - who is now married to 'Our Girl' star Michelle Keegan - because it's what she was "first known for" onscreen.

She said: "I'm always 'Mark Wright's ex', and always known just for having been in the relationship. I can't hate it, because that's what we were first known for, doing 'TOWIE' together. But it must be so annoying for him. He's married now, leave him alone!"

The 32-year-old TV star will be appearing on the new series of Channel 4's 'Celebs Go Dating', alongside 'Love Island' stars Jack Fincham and Megan Barton Hanson, and Blue singer Lee Ryan, and the star admitted she's ready for romance because she's "strong" and knows her own worth.

She added: "I'm a lot more headstrong, and I know what I value in myself. I won't take no s**t. I'm a strong independent woman now."

And although the former ITVBe star wants to "settle down" and get "married" to the "right" man, she isn't rushing love.

Speaking to Closer magazine, she continued: "Settling down and getting married is the aim of life, isn't it? I do want all that, that's what I'm looking for. I've just got to find the right person."

Lauren hasn't had much luck when it comes to her dating life over the years, but previously admitted that appearing on 'Celebs Go Dating' is "really good fun" because she is "really enjoying" pushing herself to do things she wouldn't normally.

She said: "It's really good fun because I've never dated before.

"I've always been in a kind of long-term relationships and this is, like, new.

"It's fresh, it's funny, it's quite light-hearted. I've had some funny dates but we're still filming. It's really good, I'm really enjoying it."

When asked whether she's hopeful she will find love, Lauren said: "I dunno, I am yeah, but I'm not looking. You know what it is, with this show it kind of brings you out of your comfort zone and you do things you wouldn't normally.

"I wouldn't usually go on a random blind date I've never done that in my life."