Property developer, antiques collector and owner of Sugar Hut nightclub, Mick Norcross became a household name when he appeared on the hit TV show, the Only Way Is Essex. he now owns the Grand, in Leigh.

What are you working on now?

Work on the Grand, in Leigh, is on-going and will be 18 apartments and some commercial space. Right now we are doing a soft demolition inside the building and underpinning the building itself, getting it into shape ready for its next 100 years of life.

I’m also building 19 large executive homes in Bulphan, the village where I live. And I’ve now just started another site with six executive homes as well. So, I’m building 25 homes in Bulphan, with a gross development value of circa 45million quid. So, it’s a big project. As well as, the Sugar Hut, and that’s a moving target at all times...


Who do you look up to?

Only my dad. He’s not with me anymore, unfortunately, neither is mum, but there was a time when he was alive, and I wouldn’t make a decision without a conversation with him. Unfortunately, when he died, you have to make them on your own, but I always sleep on a decision before making it, to give me time to think on how he would deal with this or that. I never aspired to be rich and famous, I’ve only aspired to want to be successful and that was my dad. Initially, he was at sea, in the Navy. As a chief officer. And then he came ashore and was a managing director of a cargo securing company, in Tilbury Docks – so that’s where I started in Tilbury Docks, working in the shipyards.

Where’s your favourite place in Essex?

I used to love going to Leigh and walking through the old town and going down by the cockle sheds, but since being on the TV and since being involved with the Grand, there are unfortunately some people there who might want to point the finger. So, it becomes very difficult to put yourself into a public arena, especially when you’re with your children. So, my favourite place now is somewhere remote. I love to go to Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury with the kids. I went there as a kid and I take my kids there and take my grandchildren.

What was it like being on The Only Way Is Essex?

My son [Kirk] and I were part of the show for a couple of years but it was very demanding.

And what it did to me as a person was quite a strange thing, taking me from somebody nobody really knows to somebody that everyone knows because you’re a household name so to speak.

But it was a decision I took just to try to manoeuvre the business - the Sugar Hut - in the right way, I needed it to be portrayed in the right light and being part of the show that was the only way I could do that.


I didn’t want them to just come and ride roughshod over the business and portray it how they wanted, people having fights in the club and what have you. That would never be right and even the relationship with my son, I needed that to come across right. But it got to the stage where it really wasn’t where I needed to be in life. You know, at the age of 50-odd doing that...I couldn’t have people telling me where to stand, what to do and what to say, it’s not what I do. No disrespect to people who do it, but I’ve got a lot of other fish to fry.


What are you most proud of?

To be honest with you, if I look out of my kitchen window at the moment I can see the rooftops of seven houses and there’s another big phase being built behind it.I bought a piece of land there, eleven years ago, it was a real scruffy piece of land, and to manage to turn that into something, to work on it for many years and get planning for it. It’s a great financial achievement of course, but it’s more than that. I’ve actually done that. Nobody did it for me. I’ve done that and I’m proud of it. And my family will all know for many years to come, that I was the person that developed it, so that’s my best achievement. Though, I suppose I have to say that’s second to my children, of course.

Do you have any regrets?

I tend not to look back too much if I can help it, only to look forward. I try to be positive. I’ve probably got regrets about getting involved with the nightclub industry if I’m honest with you, the restaurants and bars. When I say regrets, it’s been really time consuming and a financial strain to operate those type of businesses. They’re not easy. Everyone might think that they’re glamorous and everyone wants to have a go at owning a bar and that, but they’re not easy. It is a tough, tough game to keep on top of. And I invested heavily in that and if I have any regrets...maybe I wouldn’t have invested as heavily in that because it’s taken its toll on me in terms of the time I’ve had to put into to it and maybe that time could have been better directed elsewhere. But that’s the lessons we learn in life. We make decisions and see where we end up.

Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

Winding down, definitely.

Thankfully, I’ve got my young family around me now, who are helping me.

And they are a great help and as I can pass things over to them I intend to relax a bit more and hopefully enjoy life and see a bit more of the world, that’s the plan.

But it’s very difficult to let go and it’s very difficult to stop doing what you do.

Especially when you have a thought of something that will work... it’s really very difficult to look a gift horse in the mouth and not take up on it.

But you have stop sometime and I intend to.