Mick Norcross appeared ‘happy and friendly’ to neighbours who saw him days before his death.
The former TOWIE star was found dead at his home in the Bulphan, Essex by police before 3.15pm on Thursday.
No cause of death has been given and Essex police have confirmed they are not treating the 57-year-old’s death as suspicious.
One of Mick’s neighbours has described his passing as a ‘tragedy’ and said the whole community has been left stunned by the news.
“We have a Whatsapp group and without exception everyone came on when they heard the news last night to say how much of a tragedy this is.
“Some people said they only saw him on Sunday or a few days ago.
“And he seemed OK. He seemed friendly.
“Everyone is really, really shocked by it.”
They added: “Mick was a relatively young and healthy guy. He seemed fit and well. He was often out on his bike cycling and would stop to chat to people.”
The neighbour, who has chosen to remain anonymous, described entrepreneur Mick as being well respected by his local community who ‘never had a bad word to say about him.’
The business mogul had recently completed work with a development company to build 19 new houses in the area and was also working on a solo project that saw a further seven high end properties go up for sale on his own land.
“He was taking on a lot. It must have introduced a number of pressures in the current context. There have been periods when people couldn’t build or it was reduced numbers on site,” explained the source.
“Mick was wanting to invest in the area and bring in new people,” they added.
“There’s council land in front of the new housing development which he also paid to be looked after himself.”
The former TOWIE star’s passion for the sleepy village of Bulphan is rooted in his childhood, with Mick being proudly born and raised in Essex.
His rags to riches tale saw him go from working on a shipyard as a teen to entering into property development, before going on to famously run Brentwood’s Sugar Hut nightclub, which provided the backdrop to many of TOWIE’s drama-fuelled. scenes.
Mick followed his son Kirk onto the ITV2 reality show before later quitting saying he did not like the bad publicity it gave his business.
“He was very enterprising but did not need the limelight,” said the insider.
“The way he might be portrayed as the owner of the Sugar Hut and his associations with TOWIE, that’s not what you would have thought if you knew him.
“He’s one of those people that you think he didn’t really have a need for fame. He was so genuine.
“Mick was extremely down to earth. I remember last summer after lockdown he would cycle to the shops for an ice cream and chat away to people.
“A lot of people will come out in support when the funeral does take place. I’m sure it will be a local event where lots of people will want to pay their respects.”