TOWIE Legend Kirk Norcross Speaks to Harry Meghan News
In The Wake of Caroline Flacks Death We Asked Kirk Norcross What He Thinks About The Press And How Social Media Affects Those In The Public Eye
Last week we met up with top TOWIE legend Kirk Norcross. Kirk was previously one of the biggest reality TV stars on ITV’s The Only Way is Essex. He now owns and runs his own Jet Washing and Drain Blockage company.
We caught up with Kirk on a job he was voluntarily working on at Orsett Village Hall in Essex to get down and dirty about the state of the press and social media.
Hey Kirk, so why are you here today at Orsett Hall?
I love my job, and I love what I do…..and its to give back. Id only be sitting in today. I only found out yesterday that this village hall is self run. no council, no government fund for this. I’m doing this for nothing for them. This is where all the local birthday parties will be, kids little activities and stuff like this, Id like to take my kids here soon and yeah just giving back. Its cost me £7.27 to be here today and the only answer is, just to give back.
What do you think about Prince Harry?
He’s a hero, a real hero. He’s fought for our country and I love him to pieces do you know what I mean.
What is your opinion of Meghan Markle?
I think she is a very cunning and manipulative person. Just what Iv seen from the press. The press only puts what they want us to see of someone. What I’v seen from the press is that she is very clever, cunning and manipulative. She knows what shes done. I think she had an action plan to become a royal. And i’m going on this with bad previous experience of people using me for an ulterior motive, shes stunning, beautiful but she looked like she had a motive but again that could be the TV and the papers brainwashing us. That’s my opinion, nothing horrible against her, if that does sound horrible I’m sorry but that’s what it seems, she had a game plan and maybe i’m thinking that because i’v had girls do it to me before.
How do you think the public perceived you when you were on The Only Way is Essex?
They kept making dad spend money on me on TOWIE and everyone was messaging me on Twitter and that saying you silver-spooned c#%t you don’t know what real life is like. And if you read my book you can see that TOWIE was a tiny percent of my life, I had it hard growing up, and i’m not saying I was the only one, everyone in my area (Thurrock, Essex) had it hard there, it was a tough place, no jobs, no motivation and the climate was hard.
So I was on TOWIE, my dads constantly buying me stuff, 1 cos hes a lovely dad and he loves me and 2 TOWIE were saying this would be good for TV. We showed them, this would be good for TV you know, I saved up a lot of money while I was on TOWIE so I thought right i’m going to buy myself a car on TOWIE that will make me look like i’m a normal person. So i’v gone to Towie look i’v found a car, this is what I want to buy and there like right leave it a couple of weeks, well set up and then tell you when were going to film it. My birthday was coming up and they said right Kirk, were filming in your house, your garden on say 19th April – fair enough, they come in my house, they mic me up and say right you cant go outside at the moment were just setting up cameras and whatnot like that, set me up the cameras and they say the scene is your going to come out your front door, you’ll see where the camera is, walk in front of that, your dad will be standing there, have a chat with your dad and he’ll roll with it. Action, I walked out the door, dads standing next to the white range Rover that I wanted to buy, whats this? “Happy Birthday son” – he gives me the keys – thank you very much – played it out for the camera and after the cameras up “ Dad thank you very much, but why did you buy me the car? I was going to buy this – “TOWIE said you was a bit run down cos you wanted to buy this car and you couldn’t afford it –
so they’v made my dad, they wanted me to be this little rich kid.
So they lied to both of you?
So they lied to me and said they will film you buying the car, just hold on a couple of weeks and they have said to my dad – Kirk likes this car, he cant afford it, I think it will be a really good father son moment if you buy it for him. I said Dad I appreciate this and then I bought my Dad a car! The first car I remember my Dad having is a f#%king Mercedes SL 250 or 350 it could have been. I tried to find the exact car but I couldn’t – bought it for him, he was driving it on TOWIE, I wasn’t on TOWIE at this time but he said when he was driving it he did a scene with a couple of the cast he said “Kirk’s bought it for me” – they cut that bit, so they had it in their head how they wanted to portray me – its what we say, what we do is us, but its edited to say like 90% of him is a nice guy, 10 % hes a rich little arrogant f#%ker – were going to have that 10% of him you know..
Cos how your coming across now if im honest with you is completely different..
Ah mate thank you, I appreciate that, I love working, I could go on TV and earn 10 grand for a film or something, nice bit of money. I could go on a job, get £500 for a weeks graft on a building site, I appreciate that £500 more – yeah love it like, I could never tell my kids to go and work unless they have seen me go and work, and that’s what my dads done, my dads told me Kirk, if your ever going to earn your own business and ask someone to sweep up, you can never tell them unless they’ve already seen you doing it yourself you know. That’s the rules like, no ones gonna give you nothing, I know it looked like on TOWIE I was given everything, my dad made sure I was in good stock but I feel that was his way of repaying for the life I had growing up, and I would do the same for my kid. And I hope my kid would do the same for their kid. If you can financially support your kids and make them happy, as well as showing them about morals and life, anyone would, know what I mean?
What effect did social media and being on TV have on your life?
I always suffered with social anxiety, as a kid and then progressed so much more being on TV, and I believe it progressed more on TV because your people like Mark Wright, Joey Essex, they wake up 100% good looking, like camera good looking, you see me I have to put a comb through my hair, have a sunbed, go to the gym to look half a sort you know. So I felt so much pressure on TV and I hate that TV only shows good looking people on these reality shows because it is making these young kids in school feel that if they ain’t got fake boobs, if they ain’t got white teeth, if they ain’t been on a sunbed that they ain’t worthy to live in this life and that’s how I was feeling and it slowly started to get to me, I wasn’t your Mark Wrights, I’m a rough and ready guy, Id rather go and have a roll-round with someone like play a bit of football or something and have a muck around fight with your best friend than walk down the red carpet, and it was eating away at me, eating away, I wasn’t this person that TOWIE wanted me to be. I was trying my hardest to be it and then a couple of chinks in my armour were starting to show, and I’m a fight or flight kind of guy, and the minute that I could see people could see these chinks in my armour I come back with the aggression, not physically, verbally you know, like a caged animal, if you put a dog in a cage and start poking it, it barks, you know and that’s what I felt like. So with these chinks in my armour, that’s when social media started hitting me, “start living in the real world”, “stop living off your dad” stuff like that
But you were still earning your own money?
Mate ridiculous, f#%king ridiculous, I would earn more in a full night than I could earn in 6 months to a year running my own business, phenomenal money, like tens of thousands.
So in terms of what you spoke about and whats happened with Caroline (Flack), did you know Caroline at all?
Yeah I met her twice, the first time she was a tiny little bit off but us reality stars are not one to mix with! and she was a very professional person and I understand that, she was a presenter, she was very good at her job and once I said hello she literally, I don’t want to make out that I knew her loads but you know when someones got a glow about them, an aura, the minute she let her guard down she was a lovely woman. And then I met her at an airport once, I was going to Vegas with some friends and I think she and Dermot O’Leary were on their way to Vegas for Judges Houses or something, we had a really good chat, just a general chat, I said hello to her on the aeroplane as we were sitting a couple of seats away from each other, and you know what when I heard that she had committed suicide I didn’t really…. that is bad but then as the days have gone on its stirred up a few of my old past and I just know what she would have been feeling, that lead up to that.
What do you think Social Media and the Press can do to help support people like her (Caroline Flack), yourself and other TV/reality stars feeling the same way?
I think social media need to start vetting comments, they are multi billion £ companies, they have the ability, they need to start vetting comments, look everyone is entitled to their opinion OK, that is freedom of speech OK, I believe in that strongly, but there is a difference to be entitled to your own opinion and calling someone a c#nt and that they are no good when they don’t know them. So I think social media need to start vetting comments and when comments are reported, cos you can report them, people have reported abusive comments about me, Instagram have sent a thing saying there was no breach so I think that needs to be done and newspapers, they are responsible. Probably Caroline Flack didn’t look at social media that week, it’s the f#%king papers mate.
Did the press ever make stories up about you?
They didn’t make up stuff but they would print what people had told them about me without asking the truth, girls that have said they have had sex with me and a girl that had said I had got her pregnant and its not true, never even asked me about it. Iv got two people pregnant in my life and I have two kids. The papers should have blood on their hands for this they really should and what the papers should do, with the papers its like your guilty until proven innocent. The f#%king picture that was of Caroline’s bedroom with blood there accusing Caroline Flack hit her boyfriend over the head with a lamp, that was a forensic picture, the police took that picture, the police have sold that picture to the paper, so who are you meant to turn to if you cant even trust the police so I think the papers and social media need to have a f#%king board meeting with reality stars to see these people. You know the same papers that were printing that Caroline Flack was an aggressive domestic abuser are now printing Rest in Peace, she was very loved – You killed her, You Killed her, Some of us ain’t strong people OK, Look Iv done the same show as Mark Wright, Joey Essex, Amy Childs, look at them their amazing, were not all strong so you’ve got to look at us differently. The papers have really got to think about what they print, I mean it used to be tomorrows chip shop wrapper it ain’t no more. It sticks in your head, if 100 people tell you you’re a pineapple your going to start to want to eat yourself!
I don’t know how you got in to what you did (reality TV) but like you said you are from a tough background, you weren’t a child TV actor, like Justin Timberlake who has been in the limelight from a child, he’s had that support, emotional, financial, your just a normal person who has been thrown into it..
I was right place at the wrong time I say now, I used to say right place at the right time but it was right place at the wrong time it was, I got asked to do it, I was 19-20, I liked money and I liked sex I got asked to be on TV what’s any kid going to do but I believe that people that are bigger than me that have made it, they have kept their heads straight, the only reason they have made it is because they have had support from TV people, because the TV people know that they can progress,
I guess Mark Wright has probably had that?
I believe so, nothing against Mark Wright. He has smashed it well done, He was at the Oscars the other day do you know what I mean! I actually don’t like him as a person but as a TV presenter, reality star, amazing. He started where I started on TV and look at him now so I cant take my hat off to him enough, but yeah there was no help, do you know what I mean, the minute your not a YES man in TV they don’t want to help you so to get on to TOWIE you have to have a psych test, so they test to make sure you are sane enough to be on TV, we met Graham from Jeremy Kyle, a psychiatrist, lovely guy, he vets us and does a psych check to make sure we are sane enough to go on TV. And when I chose not to stay on TOWIE, see you later Kirk, no one checked me to see if I was alright to go back into the world, no-one
Would you recommend a career in the public eye?
Not reality (TV), I wouldn’t say reality, I thought presenting was a safe job but poor old Caroline Flack. If you were going to choose a life in TV I would say do it without social media but its so hard as that’s how you earn your money. But no, what I should be saying, if that’s what you feel your good at, chase your f#%king dreams, now its for these f#%kers that hire you to look after you, if I have people working for me, i’m on the phone to them all day to make sure they are alright.
There’s a duty of care?
Yeah well iv done a video ages ago when Mike hung himself from Love Island, I never met him but it’s a terrible thing that happened. And I made a video saying that these TV people are making us either the loved or most hated people in the country. Loads of people started bad mouthing me – Like Kirk, its your choice to go on TV – I said no I’m not on about TV, any job, your bosses, take amazon for instance they have millions of staff, they should have a duty of care for people if their feeling down and rough, every business should you know.
Regardless of if your directly employing that person or not – if your making money out of that person which they were, they should protect you?
1 million percent, Iv been trying to find the words for a long time that is the right way to put it.
Do you think there should be aftercare for say 2 years after a reality star is on a show seeing a psychiatrist regularly?
Well I think there should be something in place but why is the TV going to pay for a psychiatrist when he’s not on TV anymore? We’re going to pay for a psychiatrist and not earn any money off him?
But that’s why these things are happening, you should never have got to a point where you wanted to come off it and felt suicidal
They created a monster out of me and I said on videos many times you created a monster but got scared when this monster wanted to bite. They created me, they wanted me to be this alpha male that went in competition with other geezers and stuff like that. So I said put me in the scene with him, if you want me to argue il f#%king argue with him, and there like nah no no calm down – well you’s are doing this to me.
So like you said they were provoking you
Do you think because of that you weren’t really being yourself? Because you don’t seem to be that sort of person.
I weren’t being myself. I tell you what growing up I was an horrible aggy person, you know. I grew up in an area where if you didn’t bite back you got bitten hard. And that’s the wrong way to live you know but it was the 90’s
We are from Romford, you know.…
Yeah I lived in Grays and Tilbury
Id imagine most of the other TOWIE cast, if not all of the cast are from relatively normal backgrounds,
For all the others, Mark Wright, Amy Childs, they grew up with money mate, like I remember once, all the Towie cast said to me Kirk, fancy going skiing? I don’t know how to Ski. There like you didn’t do Skiing in school? WTF? We went to one school trip and that was at Marsh farm!! And I thought, I aint like these!
Is there any danger or hope of you going back into TV or is that game over for you now?
Id have loved to do TV again..
I love my job, I love my career, but I love TV, I am a born entertainer, like I am, I love making people smile and laugh, I f#%king love it. I did a bit of acting once, I fucked that up because I was a drug addict I could have pursued that further but at the time id rather be on my own doing drugs than reading a script. Id love to do TV, Iv always wanted to and I want to do a programme, but no one wants to be on it cos it ain’t entertaining, I want to go into schools and talk to these kids about being bullied and help these kids and show the kids that you don’t have to look good to achieve anything like look at Richard Branson, he’s not a good looking guy, he’s a very well respected businessman. I want to take these kids, and I know singers, I know footballers, I wanna take these kids and say look I know your not academically clever but what are you good at – I wanna do football, well right, ring up a professional footballer – can you give him an hour lesson? so all I want to do is help. Iv got my business, I earn my money, not today I’m doing today for free.
So maybe what you could do is something that opened up the reality of reality TV?
That’s what I would love to do but there would be so many lawsuits. They would pay over the odds to get it off.
Even in light of what has happened recently with Caroline Flack, and not only her but with Mike (Love Island)?
They would do that or completely say I am lying because they will say Mark Wright started when Kirk Norcross started, why isn’t Mark Wright like him? We are different people. I’m not saying Mark Wright doesn’t need help, he might do I be noones asked Mark, How you feeling? Because they need to as we are human. You know, I hope this doesn’t sound sexist but I think men do have it a little bit harder than women. A woman can call up her mate crying and say can I come round for a coffee and a chat? A guy cant do that.
Guys worry about what their mates will think?
Yeah you know what I mean, and I’m a very open person with my friends, I will cry, I will ring them up when I am in need now. Cos I need to, I still have suicidal thoughts, not, I flirt with the idea, you know thinking am I doing life right? But you k now what iv got two kids that are happy, I’m doing life right you know what I mean. It’s a fucking roller coaster. The highs are high, but the lows are low.
What are your plans for the future and what makes you happy?
What makes me happy is my job, jet washing I love it. I do jet washing and drain blockaging. I have a smile on my face when I am unblocking a drain full of sh#t. I love my job. I don’t know why but I love it. It’s my baby, I set up the company, I love my job. Id like to get onto…my 5 year plan is no more kids, I had a vasectomy a couple of weeks ago so no more kids my 5 year plan is to make my company a household name, a professional company as well. I’m not in it for a short money and run, I want this company to be big enough to give to my kids.
Do you want to come away from the front line of unblocking drains?
Oh no I want to work, front line soldier. Id love to progress my company to building maintenance from everything from the ridge to the ground, and property. Still keep this but my plan this summer is to by a house at auction, do it up, flip it and then get on the ladder, go again. That’s my aim. Property is phenomenal. That’s my thing that’s what my dad does, he aint a nightclub owner, he bought it as an investment, we had it for 10 years we just sold it. My dad’s my idol, I can’t stress enough how much I respect him.
Do you think your dad was a guiding light in your hour of darkness?
Nah truthfully I don’t think so no-one was, cos I felt like I was letting him down. That’s why I wanted to kill myself, because my dad had tried his best to guide us and I was just throwing it up the wall. I was just taking his advice and fucking it off. My older brother is a saint. I tried to do everything my dad didn’t family wise, my dad left my mum, left us, he was still there I mean he didn’t abandon us so I tried to do all that. But the more I was trying not to be my dad I was becoming my dad in the aspects I didn’t want to be and then I become sober and my dad keeps saying to me, Kirk why do you keep doing things for me for nothing? Like hell go im hungry and I say I’l go McDonalds for you right now. Hes like no your chilling out, he says why? And I say because i’m going to have so many years of my life when your not going to be here and i’m going to regret every bad thing, nasty thing iv ever said to you so iv got from now to the rest of both our lives to prove to you.
So now your out of the limelight, your sober for 138 days now your happy doing your job, if you compare your mindset now to your mindset in the midst of all that when the money was rolling in and in the public, gauge your happiness (1 to 10) from now to what it was then.
Good and bad, there’s no numbers. I didn’t know who I was, now I know I am Kirk Norcross a businessman, I just tried to use money to make myself happy – it doesn’t make you happy. It makes you enjoy the time for what your spending your money on but it doesn’t bring you happiness, like money brings you happiness but it brings you a lot of lonely and fake friends but yeah, id say i’m an 8 now with my life and I was a good 1-2 (back on TOWIE). Only reason I’m only an 8 now is because this f#%king week i’m having and works sh1t!
Going back to the Caroline Flack thing, the reality of what you have just said, I remember watching you on TOWIE and from what I saw from my own eyes and ears, I saw a young confident chap flying high in life, smashing it, happy in life, surrounded by beautiful women, and all I could see was a 10, and the reality was that you were feeling a 1-2.
Thats where Caroine Flack your looking at her shes getting her hair done, whys she getting her hair done constantly, because shes insecure about what people think, whys she only going out wearing make up? because she thinks people are going to judge her you know what I mean? I love rolling out of bed, sometimes I don’t even brush my teeth, i just walk out the door with half my f#%king hair sticking up. But why have we got to be good looking? why have we? and that is what this TV is pushing that we want to be this perfect person. Who is this perfect person that they want us to be by the way? Can you show me this person? show me this person and then i might half believe it. but there aint, look, David Beckham, hes probably one of your most family icon celebrity, hes been accused of everything, cheating- might be true, might not – there is no perfect in this world. The sooner we drill that into peoples heads.
Kirk it has been an absolute pleasure speaking to you, your a gentleman and thank you for speaking to us. We wish you all the best for the future
It looks like we need reform to protect people in the public eye. They are real people too but sometimes people forget that and treat them like commodities.
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