Michael Ciaran Parker (born
4 May 1952) is an English comedian better known by his stage name Michael Barrymore,
who appeared as a presenter of game shows
and light entertainment
programmes on British television
in the 1990s.
In 2001, the body of Stuart Lubbock was found by the side of the
Barrymore's swimming pool. After a police investigation, the
stated "I have decided that
there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of
conviction" and Barrymore received an apology for being wrongly
accused of murder.
Barrymore spent his early career working as a Redcoat at Butlins
holiday camps, and then in the West End theatre shows of London, where he
met dancer Cheryl St Claire in
1974.They married in 1976, With Cheryl as manager and the
mastermind behind Barrymore's meteoric rise, he firstly won a 1979
edition of New Faces, and then
became a regular panelist on Blankety
Blank and the warm-up man for Larry Grayson on the Generation Game..
Barrymore rose to fame presenting his own show, "The Michael
Barrymore Show", and also appeared in a number of Royal Variety Performance
He became the host of ITV
Strike It Lucky
followed by a talent show Michael Barrymore's My Kind of People
Michael Barrymore's My Kind of
together with Kids Say the Funniest
. Barrymore was voted the UK's favourite TV star
several times, and became one of the highest-paid stars on
At the height of his popularity, Barrymore suffered increasing
problems. Barrymore claims he
wanted to seek help, but that Cheryl continually told him: "No,
you're not (alcoholic). Don't be stupid."
In mid-1995, Barrymore went to a pub The White Swan
London's East End, where he serenaded a startled crowd of muscled
with the words: "Start
spreading the news, I'm gay today". Within 48 hours, every tabloid
newspaper had printed its own version of the
evening's events, including an untrue claim that the star had
thrown away his wedding ring.
After appearing as the headline act on the 1995 Royal Variety Performance
he sang a version of Will You Still Love Me
with the Queen's
gun drill, in November 1995, Barrymore attended the
, where, clearly drunk, he made a rambling, incoherent
speech. At an after-show party on a live late night radio show, he
publicly declared he was gay
longer wanted to live a lie", following which he split with Cheryl.
Cheryl later claimed that Barrymore took the step and did not tell
her because of his talks with Diana, Princess of Wales
After several aborted reunions, Cheryl and Michael divorced in 1997
and Cheryl went on to publish the autobiography Catch a Falling Star
which contained details of their acrimonious split. The couple
subsequently had no contact, and Cheryl at her request ceased to be
Barrymore's agent or manager.
Barrymore later suggested in his 2006 autobiography Awight Now:
Setting the Record Straight
that Cheryl was a control freak
who controlled his every movement including his clothes, and she
had created the character that was "Michael Barrymore", which
consequently drove him to alcohol, drugs and gay affairs.
In an interview in 2002, Barrymore admitted that he is an
April, 2005, Cheryl Barrymore died at the age of 55 at St John and
St Elizabeth Hospital in St John's Wood, having been diagnosed with lung cancer just six weeks earlier.
Shortly before her death she asked that details of her condition be
kept secret from her former husband, and also left instructions
that he should not be invited to attend her funeral.
Death of Stuart Lubbock
Following a party in the early hours of 31 March, 2001, 31-year-old
meat inspector Stuart Lubbock died after three witnesses, including
Barrymore himself, claimed to have found him motionless in
Barrymore's swimming pool. All charges were dropped when it later
came to court, though witnesses could not agree on whether he was
found floating on top of the pool or at the bottom of it. The cause
of death was found to be drowning. Lubbock, described as a "bubbly
partygoer", had traces of drugs and alcohol in his system.
Pathologists discovered appalling anal injuries which some said
were consistent with a sexual assault.
Many tabloid newspapers
Barrymore of holding drug-fuelled gay orgies
in his home and asserted that he must have had
some responsibility for the death. It was claimed that Barrymore
had been seen at the party forcing cocaine
onto Lubbock's gums, an allegation Barrymore denied.
Barrymore subsequently received a police
for possession and use of cannabis
, but no other charges were laid against
him or anyone else in connection with the death, although two other
party-goers, unemployed Justin Merritt and drag queen
Jonathan Kenney were arrested on
suspicion of murder on 6 June 2001. The inquest
that took place in September 2002 reached an
In light of the verdict, and the fact that she was approached by a
friend of the Lubbock family, Cheryl Barrymore provided the Lubbock
family solicitor with both a sworn affidavit
and subsequent court testimony that her
ex-husband had lied under oath, and could in fact swim. She also
alleged the entertainer had rubbed cocaine on to the gums of other
people as well as himself.
In November 2002 Barrymore's lawyers successfully demanded that
surrounding Lubbock's death. Their focus was on Barrymore's
allegations that the injuries inflicted upon Lubbock's body could
have occurred while lying unguarded in the mortuary
. A pathologist's report found that
Lubbock's wounds were only four hours old at the time of the
examination at 4pm, while Lubbock had been pronounced dead at the
Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow at 8.20am that morning. On
his claims, Barrymore told Five Live
want to prove the fact that the anal injuries could not have
happened at the house." He added: "If these injuries had happened
then, why have the police not charged anyone with anything?"
On Barrymore's high-profile return to the UK in January 2006 to
take part in Celebrity
lawyer and local
initiated a private prosecution, comprising six charges
regarding Barrymore's alleged misuse of drink and drugs on the
night of the younger Lubbock's death. The action commenced
in Epping Magistrates
Court on 16 January 2006.
On 10 February, 2006, a District
at Southend Magistrates' Court blocked the private
prosecution against Barrymore on the grounds of insufficient
evidence being available for the case to continue. Anthony Bennett
is not a Solicitor
In an interview with Piers Morgan
the December 2006 edition of GQ
magazine, Barrymore claimed there were other witnesses to the
events who were hiding information.
On 2 December, 2006, police announced they were re-opening the
investigation into Stuart Lubbock's death. The re-investigation
followed a lengthy dossier submitted by Anthony Bennett, who was
now Terry Lubbock's solicitor, cataloguing a series of alleged
failures by Essex Police in the original investigation and claiming
that there had been an elaborate cover-up of the true circumstances
of Lubbock's death.
On 22 December, 2006, following a successful complaint to the
by Bennett, The
published a letter from Terry
replying to the newspaper's five-page feature on
Barrymore earlier in the year which featured Terry's meeting with
On 1 March, 2007, the Independent Police
, following a complaint lodged the
previous December by Anthony Bennett, announced an investigation
into aspects of the police inquiry into Lubbock's death after
receiving complaints from the Lubbock family. It was reported that
complaints surrounded information Essex Police gave to a coroner
and pathologist after Lubbock's death. In May the I.P.C.C. agreed
with Bennett a schedule of no fewer than 38 separate complaints
relating to the original investigation into Lubbock's death
On 14 June, 2007, Essex police arrested Barrymore and two other men
on suspicion of murder and serious sexual assault in the Lubbock
case. The two other men arrested were Jonathan Kenney, Barrymore's
lover and partner at the time of the death, and Justin Merritt, an
unemployed former dustman at the time. The three men were
held for questioning at South Woodham Ferrers Police Station, Essex.
This followed reports in The Harlow Herald that police had seized tapes from the home of Barrymore's literary agent Tony Cowell allegedly containing conversations between Cowell and Barrymore.
On 15 June, 2007, police were given permission to question
Barrymore and one other man for a further 12 hours. Barrymore's
solicitor Henri Brandman also confirmed his client was one of the
Later that day Barrymore was released on police bail pending
further enquiries. His solicitor stated that Barrymore
"categorically denied" the allegations made and had not been
charged with any offence.
On 31 July, 2007 it was announced that Barrymore had been re-bailed
to appear at an Essex Police Station on 10
. He answered bail on 10
at a police station in Harlow, Essex. Police were
then granted a further 12 hours to question him. On that date,
Barrymore was told that he would not face charges for the events
the revelations of Lubbock's death, ITV
terminated his contract and his UK TV career
A new series of Kids Say the
recorded prior to the scandal was pulled from
schedule and never broadcast. The
Guardian reported that the BBC
publication of Barrymore's life story.
September 2003, Barrymore staged a one-man show at London's
Theatre, which closed after a few days. He subsequently
emigrated to New
Zealand to live with his partner, Shaun Davis.
since had live stage shows in New Zealand and Australia.
he appeared in the stage musical, Chicago, in Napier, New
Celebrity Big Brother
December 2005, it was announced that Barrymore was being paid
£150,000 by Channel 4 to take part in the
British version of
Brother commencing 5 January 2006.
On his entry
into the house, Barrymore received a generally positive reception
from the crowd which brought him to tears.
Barrymore initially showed signs of strain in the Big Brother
house, particularly during the first few days. His time in the
house will particularly be remembered for his visibly strong
dislike of model Jodie Marsh
, and his
difficult relationship with housemate George Galloway
, which culminated in a 20
minute slanging match between the two men that became one of the
defining moments of the series. The public clearly took to
Barrymore, and on 27 January 2006 he finished runner-up to Chantelle Houghton
. Barrymore was visibly
moved by the public support he had received when interviewed by
after the show.
After Big Brother
Remaining in the UK, Barrymore was booked to be the guest host on
's The Friday Night Project
the edition broadcast on 3 February 2006.
announced that for Christmas 2006, Barrymore would play the title
role in Bill Kenwright's new
production of Scrooge - The
Musical" Barrymore performed the lead role at the Empire
Theatre, Sunderland, but the production's scheduled transfer to the
End was cancelled.
After Barrymore had completed his role in Scrooge - The Musical
returned to New Zealand with Shaun Davis, his on-and-off partner
since 1997. The relationship soon turned sour however, and by March
2007, the pair had split.
In January 2008, Barrymore took the role of comedian and writer
in the stage play
In June 2008, The Sun newspaper ran a story claiming that Barrymore
had been on a heavy drinking session by himself.
In November 2009, it was revealed that Barrymore has been working
as an odd job man for a vehicle bodyworks business in Epping,
Essex. It was reported that he had battled drink and drugs and
spent most of 2009 working hard to stay clean and sober.
- Deaths England and Wales 1984-2006
- Alcoholics Anonymous Reviews: Cheryl stopped drink
- The Observer Profile: Michael Barrymore | News |
- TCM Breaking News - 2002/10/19: Diana friendship
may have helped Barrymore's downfall, says wife Cheryl
- BFI | Film & TV Database | The CHERYL BARRYMORE STORY
- My kind of autobiography - Scotsman.com
- Barrymore's GMTV interview
- BBC NEWS | Entertainment | TV and Radio | Barrymore
ex-wife dies of cancer
- BBC NEWS | England | Open verdict at pool death
- Judd, Terri. "Open verdict on partygoer found dead at star's
home". The Independent. 14 Sept 2002
- TCM Breaking News - 2002/09/12: Barrymore 'rubbed
cocaine on party victim's gums'
- Scotland on Sunday
- Why I'm not bitter | Media | The Guardian
- Author unknown. "New
Barrymore pool death inquiry". BBC News. 14 Jan 2003
- BBC NEWS | UK | New Barrymore pool death inquiry
- Police To Reopen Michael Barrymore Death
Investigation - Entertainment News, Movie Reviews, Competitions -
- BBC NEWS | UK | Review into Lubbock death inquiry
-  Lubbock death inquiry by IPCC
- Barrymore arrested over pool death
- Barrymore bail extended
- Michael Barrymore held over pool death -
- BBC backtracks on Barrymore book | Media |
- Column five: Germaine Greer | Media | The
- Barrymore to star as Scrooge in city - Scotsman.com
- The Sun, 9 April 2007