Kirk Norcross has paid a moving tribute to his father Mick as he marked once year since his tragic death.
The former TOWIE star, 33, took to Instagram on Friday morning to share a heartwarming photo collage of the pair of them throughout the years, with Kirk remarking: ‘You are not just my dad, you are my idol and best friend’.
Kirk heartbreakingly discovered his dad’s body after Mick took his own life on January 21 2021 aged 57.
So sad: Kirk Norcross has paid a moving tribute to his father Mick and shared a heartwarming collage of them throughout the years as he marked once year since his tragic death
Among the images shared by Kirk was one of him as a child, with a younger looking Mick sweetly cradling his boy.
Kirk wrote alongside the snaps: ‘Dad. I could right a million words and tell a millions story but none of that would be enough to describe the love and respect I have for you! You are not just my dad, you are my idol and best friend!
‘Thank you for everything you have ever done! I love you more and more each down! 1 year ago today you left us dad but it only feels like yesterday. Miss you so much big man! ❤️❤️❤️.’ [sic]
Sweet: The former TOWIE star, 33, took to Instagram on Friday morning to share fond words about his late father, writing: ‘You are not just my dad, you are my idol and best friend’
The TV personality also took to his Instagram stories, where he told how he was remaining ‘upbeat’ on the anniversary as he remembered the ‘good times’ and fond ‘memories’ he shared with his father.
He explained to his followers: ‘I’m not thinking about what me and my dad have missed, I keep thinking about what me and my father had. We had an amazing life together. He had an amazing life on his own.
‘So I just think about the good times. We never know if we’ve got tomorrow anyway, so there’s no point thinking about tomorrow. Think about all the good times, the memories. My dad lives a very fantastic, colourful life, he was very successful in what he’d done and I’ve got to take pride in that.’
Positive: The TV personality also took to his Instagram stories, where he told how he was remaining ‘upbeat’ on the anniversary as he remembered the ‘good times’ and fond ‘memories’ he shared with his father
It comes after Kirk broke down in tears on Thursday as he recalled finding his father Mick’s body after his tragic death by suicide.
In his first TV interview since his dad’s passing, the ex reality star admitted he still hasn’t come to terms with the loss last year and he’s battled Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after attempting to revive him.
Kirk also revealed that he briefly relapsed into his drug addiction after Mick’s death but has now been clean for nine months.
Emotional: It comes after Kirk broke down in tears on Thursday as he recalled finding his father Mick’s body after his tragic death by suicide
Tragic: Former TOWIE star Mick was found dead at his home age 57 on January 21 2021 after taking his own life (pictured right with son Kirk in 2015)
Ahead of the one-year anniversary of Mick’s death on Friday, Kirk was a guest on Loose Women to support their Stand By Your Man campaign.
He explained that due to Mick’s diabetes, he was classed as high-risk during the Covid pandemic, and was forced to shield for most of lockdown, which took a huge toll on his mental health.
Kirk explained: ‘It has been the quickest year ever and the slowest year ever. It’s so hard to explain. I’ve got a bit of a mental block. I can’t remember my dad being here, but I can like a dream.’
Candid: In his first TV interview since his dad’s passing, Kirk admitted he still hasn’t come to terms with the loss last year
Tough: He explained that due to Mick’s diabetes, he was forced to shield for most of lockdown, which took a huge toll on his mental health
‘That’s who my dad was – he was a host. He wanted to make everyone smile around him. Lockdown has really affected people who excel to be around people and make people smile.
‘We locked him down hard. He was diabetic. If you’re on your own, it’s the worst place to be in. You’ve got to tell people.’
Asked why he thinks that Mick – who was a regular cast member on TOWIE – didn’t tell anyone about his struggles, Kirk said: ‘He is old school.
‘He was a docker, he worked in the docks in the 60s and 70s and I believe that era in men, I don’t know if [they think] it’s a weakness. It’s not, you know. If my mate comes and says, ”I’m struggling”, do you know how strong I think that person is?’
‘I live next to my father. That morning, he was coming in and doing what he normally does. He gave me his next business strategy. That afternoon, he killed himself.’
Scary: Kirk then detailed the devastating moment he found his father’s body, breaking down in tears as he recalled his attempts to revive him
Kirk then detailed the devastating moment he found his father’s body, breaking down in tears as he recalled his attempts to revive him.
He told the panel: ‘I was indoors, having my lunch and I got a call from my dad’s partner saying, ”I can’t find your dad.” And I don’t know why, even though I saw him that morning, I knew what had happened.
‘We knew he was in the house, he’d locked himself in the house and I smashed through the door. He hanged himself and I found him… I gave him CPR, I tried my best. I knew he was gone though, I knew the minute I saw him.’
‘It was surreal. It was like my life ended but I had so much to do at the same time. Once I knew it was done, I laid with my father and told him it was time to rest.’
So sad: He said: ‘He’d locked himself in the house. I smashed through the door… I gave him CPR, I gave my best. I knew he was gone’
Kirk admitted he’s suffered terrible flashbacks in the wake of his father’s death, and despite receiving support from his family, he is yet to seek professional help.
He added that after battling his own mental health struggles, he wants to encourage men to speak out and get help if they’re suffering.
‘I tried to commit suicide many years ago, I didn’t think I had a purpose then,’ Kirk tld the panel.
‘I felt I was, but now I’ve got to take a positive out of what I’ve seen happen and the carnage it’s caused and knowing that my dad had to do it, but no one has to do that.
‘If you’ve ended a relationship, you can get another one, if you’ve lost all your money, you can get more money, if you’ve lost your job, you can get another job.’
Progress: Kirk admitted he’s suffered terrible flashbacks in the wake of his father’s death, and despite receiving support from his family, he is yet to seek professional help
‘I didn’t feel like I had a purpose. I’ve got to take a positive from what I’ve seen happen – the carnage that it’s caused… no one has to do that.
‘Everyone that’s watching this you have survived 100% of your worst days. Why can’t you survive more?’ Kirk said.
‘I have huge respect for my dad. He was my best friend and my dad. He still is. I still conduct myself daily talking to my dad.’
‘It all turned negative. I used to say ”dad this ain’t you, snap out of it”. ‘It’s been hard. I genuinely believe the day my dad died, I turned into a man.’
Emotional: He added that after battling his own mental health struggles, he wants to encourage men to speak out and get help if they’re suffering
Tough time: Kirk also revealed that he briefly relapsed into his drug addiction after Mick’s death, but he’s now close to being nine months sober
Distraught: He continued: ‘I am a recovering drug addict. I am proud to say. I relapsed the day after my dad died, I couldn’t get the image out of my head’
Kirk also revealed that he briefly relapsed into his drug addiction after Mick’s death, but he’s now close to being nine months sober.
He continued: ‘I am a recovering drug addict. I am proud to say. I relapsed the day after my dad died, I couldn’t get the image out of my head. I am a couple of days from being nine months sober.
‘I am doing this for him and everyone else. I don’t want anyone else to go through what he did – and what we did as a family. It doesn’t make you any less of a man if you say you’re struggling.’
Following his appearance on Loose Women, Kirk was lauded by viewers for speaking so candidly about Mick’s death, and helping to raise awareness about mental health struggles in men.
One wrote: ‘What an emotional interview with Kirk Norcross on @loosewomen the stigma needs to stop when it comes to talking about depression. Especially for men who are ashamed for talking about it. Hope this interview brings more awareness.’
Another added: ‘Was so emotional to watch Kirk Norcross on Loose Women, so strong, your dad would be proud, you truly have become a man! Just want to give you a hug @kirk_official you will have such a different to someone today.’
A third fan tweeted: ‘Kirk Norcross should be so proud of himself. He’s going to help a lot of people by speaking today about his dad. Mate [applause emojis] RIP Mick.’
‘I comment Kirk Norcross for coming on to speak about the important issue of suicide and mental health but that man is still grieving his father and still struggling,’ one viewer lauded.
A fan also posted: ‘Watching Kirk Norcross on Loose Women and my heart is breaking listening to him. Mental Health is so important to talk about. One of the worse things about the last two years is soaring number of suicides and people suffering with their mental health.’
‘If you don’t watch mental health during this pandemic has been neglected. I suggest you watch Kirk Norcross on #LooseWomen,’ another tweeted.
‘What a brave and lovely lad, speaking so candidly to raise awareness. Massive respect to you #kirknorcross #LooseWomen,’ one posted.
Heartbreaking: Kirk was lauded by viewers for speaking so candidly about Mick’s death, and helping to raise awareness about mental health struggles in men
A fan also shared: ‘Well done Kirk Norcross, you are holding it together, but I’m crying for you.’
One added: ‘Well that was heartbreaking watching Kirk Norcross. Please always talk through your troubles with someone, anyone because mental health is nothing to be ashamed about and this world is so much better with you even if you can’t see that just now.’
‘Gosh sat here in tears watching Kirk Norcross… so brave to go on there and talk today well done! Mick would be so proud,’ a viewer shared.
Mick took his own life on January 21 2021 aged 57, leaving behind assets including a luxurious seven-bedroom Essex mansion.
But due to spiraling debts, he left just £42,000 of his £6million estate to loved ones, having lost his self-made fortune.
Woes: Due to spiraling debts, Mick just £42,000 of his £6million estate to loved ones, having lost his self-made fortune
Taxes, settlement of debts and various other fiscal matters reduced the original £5.93million fortune to just £42,381, according to probate files.
Norcross, the father of former TOWIE co-star Kirk Norcross and one-time owner of Essex nightclub The Sugar Hut, did not leave a will prior to his death – meaning the remaining sum will go to his ex-wife Kerry.
It’s understood that the businessman also owed £554,503 to nine separate lending agencies, including more than £22,000 in tax.
His Willow restaurant and bar closed in December 2020, weeks before his death, with the business owing four loans to Barclays Bank.
Norcross was also believed to be unsuccessful in a £1.5million property deal in Bulphan, Essex, while a separate endeavour to restore the Grand Hotel in Leigh-On-Sea had also hit a financial stumbling block.
He was 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 had been on the market since November 2019 and remained unsold at he time of his death.
It is believed the financial loss was the latest in a long line of money issues Mick had suffered over the a two year period, made worse by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starring role: The ex 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 Essex after taking his own life
Sweet: Following his father’s death, Kirk found love again with his girlfriend Tanika Watkins, saying in an Instagram video he ‘didn’t think’ he’d meet someone
A source told MailOnline: ‘Mick was struggling. A few of his businesses had become problematic financially and they were seriously worrying him.
‘He was hoping to receive £5million from the Bonham Grange estate which would have provided a timely boost, but drainage issues and the subsequent effect on the development saw his big pay-day slashed by around 1.5million. It was a huge blow to him.’
In July an inquest heard how Norcross took his own life amid financial concerns and deteriorating mood through COVID-19 lockdowns.
He had been found dead by his son Kirk, who smashed a window with a hammer to gain access to the property after he was unable to contact him, the hearing was told.
Norcross first appeared on TOWIE in 2011 during the show’s second series. His son Kirk, was part of the original cast.
Following his father’s death, Kirk found love again with his girlfriend Tanika Watkins, saying in an Instagram video he ‘didn’t think’ he’d meet someone after being single for two years.
He then added jokingly: ‘Actually, she is probably a bit too good for me.’
RIP: Kirk, who runs a jet-washing service, previously revealed that he will forever be haunted by what happened and was too heartbroken to attend his dad’s inquest (pictured 2011)
Kirk, who now runs a jet-washing service, previously revealed that he will forever be haunted by what happened and was too heartbroken to attend his dad’s inquest.
He has described his dad Mick – who had four children – as his ‘best friend’ and hero and has urged others to speak out if they need support.
Kirk said: ‘I keep reliving when I found my dad. I have not had that dream in a while, that normally comes back to me in the day, like flashbacks in the day.
‘It’s so vivid. The lights, the smell of the day, everything, I can picture everything. But the dreams are normally me losing all my family and losing myself. Like my family either killing themselves or dying of cancer – me dying.’
For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details.
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