Tributes have poured in for an East Lancashire-born TOWIE star, who has died aged just 57.

Mick Norcross, who was born in a Haslingden sweet shop in 1964 and was raised until the age of four in Blackburn, was found dead at his home in Essex on Thursday afternoon.

His mum and dad, Margaret and Bernard Norcross, both came from East Lancashire families, his maternal grandmother living at the house in Audley Range where iconic walking writer Alfred Wainwright grew up, and his paternal grandmother a few doors away.

The family moved south to Essex in 1968 when Mick’s dad secured a job at the docks there.

Following his death, Mick was hailed as a ‘true gentleman’ by former co-stars and celebrities.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The businessman, who rose to fame as the owner of the Sugar Hut nightclub on the ITV series, The Only Way Is Essex, died on Thursday afternoon at his home in Bulphan, Essex.

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

Gemma Collins, James Argent, Lauren Goodger and Mario Falcone were among the current and former stars of the reality TV show who paid tribute on social media.

Gemma Collins, 39, shared a photo of them together on Instagram, writing: “ALWAYS A GENTLEMAN.

"Absolutely shocked and saddened by the news. My thoughts and prayers are going out to Kirk's 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.”

The pair briefly dated during their time on the show.

James Argent, 33, said on Twitter: “A true gentleman and a very kind man.

"RIP Mick. Many amazing memories, So Sad. My thoughts are with his family.”

Lauren Goodger, 34, an original cast member on TOWIE, shared a series of heartbreak emojis in response to the news, while Mario Falcone, 32, wrote on Twitter: “RIP my friend.

"You were the perfect gentlemen and I am thankful I got the privilege of having you in my life.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

In a tweet, boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, 41, described Norcross as “a gentleman”.

TV chef James Martin, 48, said: “I have just heard the awful news of Michael Norcross…a true gentleman, who I had the pleasure to meet and spend evenings with over the years…so sad and my thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.”

Loose Women’s Denise Welch, presenter Denise Van Outen and film producer Jonathan Sothcott also remembered him in messages posted online.

Norcross’ Sugar Hut club confirmed the news on its official Twitter account with a statement that said: “So sad to hear the news today of the passing of Mr Sugarhut @micky_norcross.

“A very talented, friendly and fun guy, who made a huge mark on Brentwood.

“A true Essex legend who will be sorely missed, our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.”

Essex Police said in a statement: “We were called to an address in Brentwood Road, Bulphan shortly before 3.15pm on Thursday January 21.

"Sadly, a man inside was pronounced dead.

“His death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.”

Mick Norcross was introduced to TOWIE as the owner of the Sugar Hut nightclub, 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.