TOWIE’s Vas J Morgan has paid tribute to his ‘lovely’ late co-star Mick Norcross, following his tragic death last week.
The former Sugar Hut owner, who starred on the ITVBe show from 2011 to 2013, was found dead at his home in Essex last Thursday, aged 57.
And Vas, 32, has revealed that everyone on the show is devastated, telling MailOnline exclusively: ‘It’s really upsetting. He was such a big part of the show and was a lovely man. Everyone is devastated and thinking of his family.’
Paying tribute: TOWIE’s Vas J Morgan has paid tribute to his ‘lovely’ late co-star Mick Norcross, following his tragic death last week
On this being the latest death among reality TV stars, he continued: ‘It’s always a shock. It’s so important, now more than ever, that if you do see someone struggling that you reach out. It’s such a difficult time.’
Things have been all the more devastating for Vas, as he revealed to MailOnline that he experienced tragedy in his own family in the same week Mick passed away.
‘My brother’s wife sadly passed away suddenly last week,’ he said. ‘It’s been such a shock and so so sad. Really heartbreaking. It’s been a horrible time and I haven’t properly come to terms with it all.’
Elsewhere, Vas, who has battled drug addiction and alcoholism, also discussed his own battles with his mental health amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
Tragic loss: Former Sugar Hut owner Mick Norcross, who starred on the ITVBe show from 2011 to 2013, was found dead at his home in Essex last Thursday, aged 57
‘It’s been tough at times,’ he said, ‘like it has for everybody and I’d be lying if I said my mental health hasn’t been tested. But I recently passed three years of sobriety, which gave me a lift and reminded me how dark life can be and how far I’ve come.’
The TV personality also discussed the spate of reality stars struggling with their mental health, with some succumbing the residual pressures.
He said: ‘I don’t believe it’s inevitable but when you take somebody from a normal life and suddenly they’re on TV, people are seeing aspects of their life and they’re being constantly judged on social media.
‘It’s going to be a struggle to adapt to and will take a strain on a person’s mental health.’
However, he lauded the producers of reality shows for their efforts in countering the issue, saying: ‘I think they’re doing more now than they ever have.
Support: TOWIE stars past and present have reportedly been offered bereavement counselling in the wake of Mick’s (pictured the series 3 cast in 2011)
‘The steps production companies are putting in place, for example aftercare when leaving a show or producers monitoring behaviour on set has definitely improved.’
Following Mick’s tragic death, the cast of TOWIE, as well as the crew and production team, have been offered additional support from programme makers Lime Pictures.
A source told The Sun Online: ‘Mick was so popular with everyone on set, not just in front of the cameras, but with the staff working behind the scenes too.
‘Straight away Lime Pictures let everyone know that they have a counselling team on hand to help to offer them free bereavement counselling at this time. This is something they always do brilliantly.’
The insider added: ‘Everyone has been devastated by the news of his death. He was so charming and welcoming especially when it came to inviting everyone to his nightclub The Sugar Hut. He will be greatly missed.’
Upsetting: Vas said of Mick’s tragic passing, ‘It’s really upsetting. He was such a big part of the show and was a lovely man. Everyone is devastated and thinking of his family’
MailOnline have contacted representatives of TOWIE and Lime Pictures for comment.
Meanwhile, it is said that TOWIE star are planning a virtual tribute to Mick as something special for his family following his tragic passing.
A source revealed to The Sun that the businessman had ‘touched so many people’, adding there have been discussions on the ‘best way’ to remember Mick.
Mick was the father to Hollie, Mason, Daniel, and Kirk Norcross, 33, who also appeared on The Only Way Is Essex from 2010 to 2013. His friends hope to create something memorable that his family will cherish.
The source added that they are considering a ‘virtual tribute’ to remember Mick’s ‘fondest moments’ for his family.
It comes as ITV paid tribute to former star, with The Only Way Is Essex posting a photo of Mick alongside the words: ‘Everyone at TOWIE is shocked and deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of Mick’s death. He was hugely popular with cast, crew and the audience alike.
‘Charming, generous and host to many of Essex’s most glamorous events, Mick will be missed by us all. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this difficult time.’
The reality star had appeared beaming alongside his son Kirk in a final image taken just three weeks before his death.
Mick was seen ‘looking pale’ and ‘didn’t look too well’ at around 8:30am yesterday – just hours before his death, neighbours told MailOnline.
Essex Police have not confirmed the cause of Mick’s death, or if it was suicide, but said it was not being treated as suspicious.
Counselling: The cast of the ITVBe reality show, as well as the crew and production team, have been offered additional support from programme makers Lime Pictures
Dozens of former TOWIE stars have paid tribute to Mick after he was found dead by emergency services at his home in Essex, just hours after posting a haunting final tweet.
Gemma Collins, 39, led the tributes to Mick last Thursday as she penned on Instagram alongside a photo of them: ‘ALWAYS A GENTLEMAN. Absolutely shocked and saddened by the news. My thoughts and prayers are going out to Kirk family and friends absolutely tragic.
‘The memories of the early days the sugar hut and the wonderful filming parties you put on will never be forgotten. You never know what someone is going through you was one of the good guys.’
James Argent, 33, who was an original TOWIE cast member when the show launched in 2010- a year before Mick joined- wrote: ‘A true gentleman & a very kind man! RIP Mick. Many amazing memories, So Sad! My thoughts are with his family.’
Mark Wright, 34, wrote: ‘RIP Mick N. You were a great man, an inspiration to many, always so polite and welcoming. Such a gent. We lost a good one.
Moving: In a statement posted to Instagram on Friday, the ITVBe show said the ‘charming and generous’ Sugar Hut owner was ‘hugely popular’ with the show’s cast and crew
‘Let this be ANOTHER reason to check in on people and ask if they are ok. It’s imperative we talk.
‘Love to Kirk and the rest of the family Broken hearts such sad news.’
Mario Falcone, who starred on the show between 2011 to 2018 posted a broken heart emoji, as did Elliott Wright, 41, who appeared on TOWIE between 2010 and 2017.
Mario, 32, later tweeted: ‘RIP my friend. You were the perfect gentlemen and I am thankful I got the privilege of having you in my life’.
Jamie Reed, who had a brief stint on the reality series as Amber Turner’s boyfriend, chimed: ‘Very sad. RIP’.
Reality series: Mick’s son Kirk (far left) was part of the original cast when in launched in 2010 (the cast pictured at Sugar Hut in 2011)
Whilst Bobby Norris, 34, penned: ‘Just a reminder in case your mind is playing tricks on you today.
‘You matter. You’re important. You’re loved. And your presence on this earth makes a difference whether you see it or not.’
Mick quit The Only Way Is Essex in 2013, after being left furious the nightclub was being used a battleground on the show.
Sugar Hut became known for its high-publicised feuds on the show with huge rows between central characters such as Mark Wright and Lauren Goodger, as well as former on-off couple Chloe Sims and Mark’s cousin Elliott.
He told The Sun at the time of his departure: ‘My club is an upmarket venue where people come to drink champagne and feel spoiled.
Reality star: Mick made his TOWIE debut in 2011 during the show’s second season. His son Kirk was part of the original cast when the show began a year prior
‘All these rows they keep filming don’t show the club in a good light and I’m worried it’s putting people off coming, which is the last thing I want.’
The reality star sold the Sugar Hut nightclub in 2019 and concentrated on his property businesses. Before his death he was developing the famous Grand Hotel in Leigh-on-Sea near Southend into 18 luxury flats, which remains unfinished.
He was also building five luxury houses in Bulphan, called the Bonham Grange Estate, where the asking price for a five-bedroom property is £1.75million. But some of the properties have been on the market since November 2019 and remain unsold.
Mick lived in a mansion in the same village, which he designed and built himself. He also had an antiques shop in nearby Brentwood.
But sources close to the late building developer told MailOnline Mick was set to make £5million on the Bonham Grange project but due to drainage issues and the financial cost of repairing damage, his payout was expected to be slashed to £3.5million.
It is believed the financial loss was the latest in a long line of money issues Mick had suffered over the past two years, made worse by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mick Norcross’ TOWIE moments
MARCH 2011: Mick makes his TOWIE entrance, when Kirk attempts to set Gemma Collins up with his dad. After Gemma voiced her desire to find a ‘Danny Dyer-Tony Soprano’ style older man, Kirk insisted Mick would be ‘perfect’. Despite his best efforts, the businessman seemed more enticed by fellow newcomer Chloe Sims.
APRIL 2011: Despite his attentions continuing to point to Chloe, Gemma continued in her quest for Mick as she famously left an apple pie on his doorstep however he does not realise it is a gift from the boutique owner.
Gemma continued in her quest for Mick as she famously left an apple pie on his doorstep
MAY 2011: In one of the show’s most iconic scenes, Gemma is left heartbroken when she believes Mick is approaching her with a bottle of champagne at Mark Wright’s pool party however he is in fact heading toward Lauren Goodger’s sister Nicola. He later said of the scene: ‘I had no idea that Gemma was so upset. I think someone may have told her I was going to come over to her rather than Nicola. But I never meant to hurt her. I hate the thought of upsetting anyone.’
SEPTEMBER 2011: Mick sparks up a romance with Maria Fowler – an enemy to Kirk – however the following month he ends the relationship over rumours flying around Essex about their relationship.
In one of the show’s most iconic scenes, Gemma is left heartbroken when she believes Mick is approaching her with a bottle of champagne
OCTOBER 2011: Mick confesses to Kirk that he feels lonely and would like some company ‘Maybe there’s bits of my life where I haven’t been there for you so it’s hard for me to see where I’m going wrong…
‘I wasn’t there enough for you growing up but I want you to know I’m here for you now. I want to do the things we didn’t do and still can do. I’m quite a hard person and it’s difficult for me to show my emotions and that’s not me making an excuses and it doesn’t mean I don’t love you and I don’t want you around me and I just put this hard exterior up sometimes…
‘Any time you get upset let’s not end up having a shouting match over it. Talk to me. With women, that’s where I push buttons. Unfortunately in what I do, I am surrounded by women from 20 years of age to 35 years of age.’ When Kirk voiced concerns over women taking advantage of Mick, he went on: ‘Really Kirk it’s not your decision, with me you might think I’m having a great time and that but every night I come to this house on my own, I live on my own, it’s empty, it’s nothing.’
APRIL 2012: Mick is left in shock when a blaze breaks out at his Essex mansion after which he was treated for smoke inhalation while Kirk suffered minor cuts after attempting to put out the fire that broke out an upstairs rooms around 2.30pm. He spoke of the fire on the show and showed Mario Falcone the damage on-screen.
MAY 2012: Mick invites a number of the TOWIE boys around for a poker night to christen his new man cave since his home renovation
MARCH 2013: Mick announced his departure from the show after five series and banned filming in his club after becoming displeased with the reputation of fighting and fury among castmembers within the luxury establishment. He said: ‘My club is an upmarket venue where people come to drink champagne and feel spoiled. All these rows they keep filming don’t show the club in a good light and I’m worried it’s putting people off coming, which is the last thing I want.’
Mick announced his departure from the show after five series and banned filming in his club