Denise Van Outen opens up on ‘nice’ messages from Mick Norcross before his death aged 57

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Former Dancing on Ice contestant Denise Van Outen, 46, has urged people to check on those who are struggling and living alone during lockdown, as she spoke out about Mick Norcross’ death. The Only Way Is Essex star and businessman was found dead at his home last Thursday. Essex police said his death was not being treated as suspicious.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk as she fronts Heineken’s Brewing Good Cheer campaign, she said the Sugar Hut owner sent her “nice messages” on social media, praising her work.

She said: “I wouldn’t say I was really close but he was always very lovely to me.

“I had been to Sugar Hut on a few occasions and he was always a real gentleman and sporadically he would message me on social media and stuff and just send nice messages.

“He sent me a really nice message about my show in London, it’s really sad.

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“My heart, thoughts and prayers and everything go towards his family and Kirk – I can’t imagine what they are going through.

“It’s just awful, we don’t yet know and it’s not my place to know the ins and outs of what was actually going on with him.”

The mother-of-two added: “I just think this is shining the light – people need to reach out to people, if someone is on their own or is suffering and struggling, just make that call and reach out and be there for people.

“It’s the hardest time for so many people.”

Denise said she has had “downs days” despite living with her fiancé Eddie and her two daughters, so “can’t imagine what it’s like for people completely on their own”.

The former Dancing on Ice contestant added: “This more so than ever than ever at the moment is about community, forget about what we’ve got, don’t just assume people have got nice lives because they’ve got nice things, or a big business or something because sometimes they’re the ones suffering the most.

“Businesses are going under and people are really suffering.”

The nightclub boss was pronounced dead when emergency services arrived at his home in Bulphan.

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Essex Police said in a statement: “We were called to an address in Brentwood Road, 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.”

Denise first paid tribute to the nightclub boss on Twitter following the news.

In view of her 677,000 followers, she wrote: “RIP @micky_norcross such a lovely man. So sad my thoughts are with his family.”

Mick was the father of former The Only Way Is Essex star Kirk, who is yet to speak out publicly about his dad’s death.

He also has children; Mason, Hollie and Daniel.

Many stars from the show also took to social media to pay tribute to the businessman.

Gemma Collins wrote 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 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.”(sic)

Bobby Norcross added: “Sleep tight Mick.”

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