TOWIE’s Mick Norcross was seen beaming next to his son Kirk in his haunting final picture, taken three weeks before he was been found dead aged 57.
The Sugar Hut owner and reality star, who rose to fame as the man behind the nightclub on the hit ITV2 series, was discovered at his home in Bulphan, Essex, by emergency services on Thursday afternoon.
In a haunting final tweet, posted just hours before his body was found, he wrote: ‘At the end remind yourself that you did the best you could. And that is good enough.’
On January 4, Kirk, 32, shared a selfie on Facebook as he sat alongside his grinning father, adding the caption: ‘Me and the big man’, with a heart emoji.
Heartbreaking: TOWIE’s Mick Norcross was seen beaming next to his son Kirk in his haunting final picture, taken three weeks before he was been found dead aged 57
Mick sent shockwaves around the TV world when news arose of his passing, and while Kirk has so far remained silent, the haunting last picture has emerged.
The former TV star is survived by his sons Kirk, Mason, Daniel and daughter Hollie. He also has three grandchildren.
The star made his TOWIE debut in 2011 during the show’s second season, while son Kirk was part of the original cast when it began a year prior.
The businessman was introduced as the owner of Sugar Hut, a nightclub in Brentwood which was a popular filming location for the show.
TOWIE star and former Sugar Hut owner Mick Norcross, pictured with an entourage of girls at the Essex nightclub, has been found dead aged 57
During his time on the show, Mick caught the attention of Gemma Collins, 39, who soon developed a crush on him.
One of his most notable storylines was when, at a pool party for the second series finale, Gemma was convinced Mick was bringing a bottle of champagne over to her, but was instead snubbed when the Sugar Hut owner walked past her and presented the bubbly to Lauren Goodger’s sister Nicola.
Gemma led the tributes this evening, writing on Instagram: ‘ALWAYS A GENTLEMAN. Absolutely shocked and saddened by the news. My thoughts and prayers are going out to Kirk family and friends absolutely tragic #ripmicknorcross
Tragic: Mick haunting last tweet, posted on Thursday morning at 7.17am, read: ‘At the end remind yourself that you did the best you could. And that is good enough.’
Mick Norcross, pictured alongside son Kirk, was tragically found dead in Essex on Thursday afternoon, just hours after a haunting final tweet
Police outside the home of Mick Norcross this evening, after the TOWIE star was found dead earlier this afternoon
Nightclub owner: The businessman rose to fame as the owner of Sugar Hut nightclub on the ITV series The Only Way Is Essex (pictured in 2012)
‘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 [sic] one of the good guys.’
An Essex Police spokesman told MailOnline: ‘We were called to an address in Bulphan shortly before 3.15pm on Thursday 21 January.
‘Sadly, a man inside was pronounced dead. His death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.’
The star made his TOWIE debut in 2011 during the show’s second season, while son Kirk was part of the original cast when the show began a year prior.
Tributes from the property developer’s TOWIE co-stars and celebrity friends were soon posted in response to Mick’s heartbreaking final tweet.
TOWIE veteran James Argent called the property developer: ‘A true gentleman & a very kind man’. James, 33, wrote: ‘RIP Mick. Many amazing memories, So Sad! My thoughts are with his family.’
Mario Falcone, who starred on the show between 2011 to 2018 posted a broken heart emoji, as did Elliott Wright, who appeared on TOWIE between 2010 and 2017.
Jamie Reed, who had a brief stint on the reality series, chimed: ‘Very sad. RIP’.
A police car and a forensic investigation van were parked outside Mr Norcross’ home in Bulphan, Essex, after he was found dead on Thursday afternoon
Mick Norcross and The SugarHut Honeys attend the Inside Soap Awards at One Marylebone in London in September 2012
EOTB star Jess Impiazzi, who was one of Mick’s original ‘Sugar Hut Honeys’ – a group of hostesses in the club – typed: ‘Please don’t ever feel like no one is there or wants to listen, you matter!…
‘You’re loved!…And the world is better with you in it. There is always light at the end of the tunnel! I promise.’
Mick sold Sugar Hut in 2019, having previously gone on to develop a property portfolio, including The Grand Hotel in Leigh.
The businessman shelled out £4.3m for the site back in 2011 and dreamed of turning the derelict building into a boutique hotel,restaurant and spa.
However, despite extensive renovation, restoration work took longer than planned and the hotel is still yet to open.
The same year Mick bought the hotel, he put his £3.4million converted farmhouse up for sale. The mansion, which was also a regular filming location during his time, was the envy of TOWIE viewers.
Gemma Collins said she was ‘absolutely shocked and saddened by the news’ as she said Mick was ‘always a gentleman’
Well loved: Tributes from the property developer’s TOWIE co-stars and celebrity friends were soon posted on Mick’s heartbreaking final tweet
Millionaire: Mick was known as the businessman of Essex on the hit ITV2 show, but eventually sold the Brentwood nightclub in 2019 (pictured)
The estate also boasted a private house where Kirk lived with his girlfriend at the time Lauren Pope, a hot tub and plasma screen TVs.
After putting up the house on sale, Mick said, ‘I’ve been here six years and I’ve completely refurbished this place. Now I’m ready to move on to another project.’
Mick made a hefty profit for £2.2million after buying the house in 2005 for £1.2million.
It is the first tragedy to strike the TOWIE cast since Patricia Brooker, known as Nanny Pat, died aged 80 in 2015.
Reality TV has been hit with a number of tragic young deaths in recent years, including perhaps most notably, Love Island host Caroline Flack, who took her own life at her north-east London home last February aged 40.
Before that, the programme was rocked by the death of Mike Thalassitis, who hanged himself in a park after an alcohol and cocaine binge aged just 26, an inquest was told in 2019.
Mick quit The Only Way Is Essex in 2013, after being left furious the nightclub was being used a battleground on the show (pictured with TOWIE veteran Amy Childs in 2016)
A decade earlier, there was widespread mourning over the death of Big Brother’s Jade Goody, who died of cervical cancer at 27, after being hailed for her work in raising awareness and encouraging women to get checked.
Reliving the famous scene with Gemma Collins, Mick previously said he regretted reducing the boutique owner to tears in an interview with The Sun that year.
He said at the time: ‘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.’
Mick went on to have a brief romance with Maria Fowler, who also starred on the show and was 13 years his junior.
Drama: When TOWIE debuted in 2010, Sugar Hut was the place to be and where much of the drama unfolded (Jessica Wright, Lauren Goodger, Amy Childs, Mark Wright and James Argent pictured in 2011)
He 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.
‘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.’
Towie Nightclub Owner Mick Norcross poses for photos alongside his new entourage in their customised ‘Honeys’ bikinis
Mick described his time on TOWIE as ‘very demanding’ and ‘what it did to me as a person was quite a strange thing’ as he struggled from being ‘somebody nobody really knows’ to ‘a household name so to speak’.
He said during an interview with Echo News about why he joined TOWIE in 2018 that ‘it was a decision I took just to try to manoeuvre the business – the Sugar Hut – in the right way, I needed it to be portrayed in the right light and being part of the show that was the only way I could do that.’
Mick added: ‘I didn’t want them to just come and ride roughshod over the business and portray it how they wanted, people having fights in the club and what have you.
‘That would never be right and even the relationship with my son, I needed that to come across right. But it got to the stage where it really wasn’t where I needed to be in life.’
Mick Norcross attends the Royal World Premiere of ‘Skyfall’ at Royal Albert Hall on October 23, 2012 in London