The Only Way Is Essex has paid tribute to former cast member Mick Norcross following his death at the age of 57.

The businessman, who rose to fame as the owner of the Sugar Hut nightclub on the ITV series, was found dead on Thursday afternoon at his home in Bulphan, Essex.

According to a statement posted on Instagram, the team behind the show are “shocked and deeply saddened” by the news.

They added: “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.”

He first appeared on Towie in 2011 during the show’s second series – and his son Kirk, 32, was part of the original cast.

His death is not being treated as suspicious.

Dozens of Towie stars have paid tribute to Norcross since news of his death broke, including Gemma Collins, James Argent, Lauren Goodger and Mario Falcone.

Mick Norcross death
The sign for the Sugar Hut nightclub in Brentwood, Essex (Ian West/PA)

Norcross was introduced to Towie as the owner of the Sugar Hut nightclub in Brentwood, Essex, the site of many of the programme’s famous arguments between cast members.

He left the show in 2013 saying the venue’s prominent place in the show had damaged its brand.

He reportedly sold the Sugar Hut in 2019.

Essex Police said in a statement on Thursday: “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.”