Pass the bubbles dahling, for Ollie Locke and Binky Felstead have re-joined Made In Chelsea.

The BFFs - both of whom were included in the E4 hit’s original 2011 line-up - returned to the “family” for the reality show’s 19th season. And it seems both are pretty pleased to be back on The King’s Road.

“When I wasn’t on Chelsea, I always found it difficult when I’d turn the television on and I’d hear [about] the brand-new series,” admits Locke, 32, whose last appearance came in 2018.

“I’ve got such pride for the show; it’s part of my life and without it, I wouldn’t be where I am right now,” he recognises. “I wanted to be back, I wanted to sit there and be like, ‘How’s it all going?’ again.”

But far from resting on his laurels until now, the Southampton-born star has made the most of his hiatus, from writing a best-selling book to founding a dating app and even trying his luck on reality series, Celebs Go Dating.

Most recently he landed a part in his first Hollywood film, Greed, alongside Steve Coogan and Isla Fisher.

“Before reality TV, I was an actor,” he explains. “I wanted to get back into acting, so I gave up Chelsea for a year to do auditions and do my bits and pieces - I wanted to break that mould that stars can’t go back into acting.

“But I’ve got to keep my mortgage payments up, as well, if I’m completely honest,” Locke says candidly.

“So I’m doing this to keep myself on TV, have a bit of fun, and to earn some money - between auditions. Some of us are multi-billionaires and some of us aren’t,” he quips. “That’s reality!”

But he needs to save for more than just his mortgage, for this chapter of Made In Chelsea asks fans to save the date for plenty of gossip, drama and wedding planning, as we follow preparations for Locke’s big day [he’s set to tie the knot with fiance, Gareth Locke].

It’s what sealed the deal for Felstead, she recalls.

“It was Ollie coming over with a few bottles of red wine, with Gareth and my mum [Janey Felstead, who will also make her comeback this series] and saying how he’s getting married this year and how [her daughter] India is in nursery, so why not?” remembers the mum-of-one, who shares her two-year-old child with ex-boyfriend and Made In Chelsea alumnus, Josh ‘JP’ Patterson.

“Obviously we’d been seeing each other off-camera, because we’re friends,” the 29-year-old Londoner is quick to add.

“But he said how nice it would be to bring a bit of lightness back, and do what we did before, but show a more grown up aspect of our lives - the next stage.”

Of her taking some persuading, “It was more the fact I’m busy with my own businesses,” she reasons. “I’m also a mummy to a toddler, and I’ve got my own life going on, so I’m very happy and content.”

“Also it’s not a huge amount [of filming], so when I can, it’s nice to squeeze it in,” follows Felstead, who made the decision that neither India - nor her new boyfriend - would feature.

“But for my mum; she’s got MS and she’s stuck in the house quite a lot, bored and feeling a bit low, so it’s lovely for her to be around young ones again, talking about silly things. She finds it really uplifting.”

Also, back for more romance, soirees and unearthed secrets will be Jamie Laing, Olivia Bentley, Sam Thompson, Zara McDermott, Alex Mytton, Sophie ‘Habbs’ Habboo, Miles Nazaire, Mark Francis Vandelli, Sophie Hermann, Harry Barron, Melissa Tattam and Fredrick Ferrier.

Favourites Louise Thompson and fiance Ryan Libbey will also feature.

As for getting used to new faces - such as returning newbies Verity Bowditch, Amelia Mist and Tristan Phipps, among others - there’s a distinct gap, Locke fesses.

“There’s two different groups. You’ve got the young lot doing the stuff that we did when we first started, and you’ve got the older lot talking about marriage, having kids and the stuff you’re talking about in your mid-thirties.

“It’s a big divide, so I haven’t done one scene with any of those people,” he reveals.

“I do them with Liv, Sophie Hermann, Binky, Gareth. We still create fun and laughs, but there’s also wonderful moments where you’re talking about adult stuff, such as whether me or Gareth are going to have children or not [as a gay couple], which hasn’t been seen actually on British television really at all.”

Is he ever nervous about sharing such intimate moments?

“Never, really. What overrides all of that is, in our own way, we’re helping people understand that gay life is completely normal,” confides Locke, who previously identified as bisexual, before coming out as gay in 2016.

“What a lovely privilege and what a delight to be able to talk about that kind of stuff - that overrides any anxiety or worry behind our conversation.”

Locke had known fiance Gareth for over a decade, before progressing from friends to a relationship.

“He moved in three months later, and we were engaged seven months later!” he says excitedly.

“I know lots of my friends are struggling to find someone; I was very lucky to find someone organically, someone that I’d known for 11 years before.”

This season will mark Gareth’s reality TV debut - a move that didn’t come without reservation.

“He’s a genius; he turns around financials for fashion companies all around the world, [so] I didn’t want someone to look at him and be like ‘Hmm, you’re the guy on reality TV’. That’s the worry I had,” Locke shares.

“But he assured me it was fine. He felt that it was a really wonderful thing for the gay community - that he’d be part of a unit that could have influence over so many people, and show what we’re doing in our lives, when other people couldn’t.”

And what with it being the same crew as it was nine years earlier, well, that was the cherry on the cake.

“Literally, I’ve been naked in front of them, I’ve had breakups in front of them, I’ve screamed,” lists Locke.

“But I’ve also had drinks with them and got to know their families and met their wives and dogs, so it’s a real family.

“People go back and forth as we do - and that’s important to me, to keep that dynamic,” he finishes. “Because that’s how you know you can trust them.”

Made In Chelsea continues on Monday nights on E4.