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Kirk Norcross, former star of TOWIE, Ex On the Beach, and Celebrity Big Brother, says reality TV turned him into a ‘suicidal monster’, and claims to be much happier now he is working a normal job – even though he is skint.
30-year-old Norcross revealed he became disillusioned with living the high life, and only thinking of his young son stopped him from ending his torment. He told the Sun on Sunday: “Reality TV turned me into a monster but the bosses didn’t want to look after the monster they created.
“I’ve thought about killing myself so many times because of what those shows did to me. Last year I came seconds away but I thought of my son’s face. He saved my life.”
Norcross, who now does manual labour for a living, claims TV bosses threatened to take him off air if he didn’t do as they demanded, ultimately preventing him from saying a final goodbye to his grandfather and forced him to breakup with his girlfriend on camera when he was taking part in The Only Way is Essex.
Norcross said: “They wanted me to come across as flash, even though I was a normal guy working in a club. It caused a lot of anxiety and grief but they didn’t care.”
Talking about finishing with his then girlfriend Lauren Pope in 2012, he added: “She made me promise I’d never break up on TV.
“You had to tell the producers everything. I said I didn’t want to be with Lauren.
“They said, ‘OK, we’re going to film your break-up straight away’. I said I wanted to tell her alone first but they said, ‘If you don’t break up with her, you’re off the show’.”
Days after this incident Norcross was on standby to rush to say a final goodbye to his ill grandad.
Norcross said: “I got a call that things were bad. I was crying and told producers. But they persuaded me to do some filming. Mum kept ringing but they kept saying I had to stay.
“When I eventually left, he died. I never said goodbye to the man I idolised. I became so depressed on the back of it. My anxiety doubled but it was like the show didn’t seem to care.
“They would cut scenes to make me look unreasonable or hot-headed. I stayed indoors.
“I was scared people would to think I was the man they were portraying me as. I was crying out for help on set, saying, ‘Stop turning me into a horrible person.’
“After three years I’d had enough and stormed off. They never even called to see if I was OK.”
Norcross now plies his trade in a very different way. He said: “Now I’m earning a living through hard work. I love getting my pay packet on Friday.
“I would warn all kids to think twice about taking part in reality shows.
“Reality for me now is jet-washing patios — and I am finally happy.”