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Denise Van Outen has revealed she was regularly in touch with Mick Norcross before his tragic death last week.
The TV favourite – who was forced to quit Dancing On Ice on Tuesday – has been speaking about the shock of last week's devastating news.
She has made public a heartwarming final message she received from Mick before he was found dead at his Essex home last Thursday.
It rocked the reality TV world as his co-stars rushed to pay their respects to the popular cast member.
While a cause of death has not yet been confirmed, it is not being treated as suspicious by police.
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Denise is the narrator of TOWIE and got to know entrepreneur Mick during his time on the show.
He would message her on social media from time to time and they stayed in touch.
She told Express.co.uk : "It's just awful, we don't yet know and it's not my place to know the ins and outs of what was actually going on with him.
"I wouldn't say I was really close but he was always very lovely to me.
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"I had been to Sugar Hut on a few occasions and he was always a real gentleman and sporadically he would message me on social media and stuff and just send nice messages.
"He sent me a really nice message about my show in London. It's really sad.
"My heart, thoughts and prayers and everything go towards his family and Kirk – I can't imagine what they are going through."
A neighbour of the nightclub owner has described the former TOWIE star as appearing 'happy and friendly' in the days before his death.
They said the news has sent shockwaves round his hometown.
One of Mick's neighbours has described his tragic passing to The Mirror and said the whole community has been left stunned by the news.
The neighbour, who has chosen to remain anonymous, described Mick as being well respected by his local community who 'never had a bad word to say about him.'
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