Wayne Lineker, who was jailed for two and a half years in 2006 after admitting a £220,000 tax fraud and was also declared bankrupt last year, is scheduled to make his first appearance in the ITV2 show's Marbella special next month.
"He's like the father figure," a show insider said. "If he goes down well on the show, maybe his family could visit."
The 50-year-old owns the Linekers chain of bars in foreign party locations such as Ibiza, Tenerife and Zante, and is opening a venue in Essex that producers hope will become the new Sugar Hut.
Danni Park-Dempsey, Billi Mucklow and Darrell Privett have all left TOWIE in a further shake-up of the cast.
They follow on from Kirk Norcross, his father Mick Norcross and Lydia Bright's mother Debbie Douglas, all of whom quit during TOWIE's last series.
The Only Way is Marbs begins June 2 on ITV2 and will be immediately followed by the show's ninth series.