Gay comic Michael Barrymore who was arrested with two other men over the death of Stuart Lubbock has been released without charge.

Meat factory worker Stuart Lubbock was found dead in Barrymore’s swimming pool after a party in March 2001.

In June 2001 Barrymore and two other men were arrested and bailed in connection with the incident.

But a year after Mr Lubbock’s death, police decided no charges were to be brought against Barrymore or the other men.

Mr Barrymore and Justin Merritt, 32, from Harlow, Essex have been released on police bail. But Jonathan Kenny, from Blackpool understood to still be in police custody. Mr Barrymore “categorically denies” the allegations that have been made against him.

The arrest of Mr Barrymore on Thursday came after audio recordings Mr Barrymore made in preparation for a possible biography were seized by police at the weekend from the home of agent Tony Cowell.

In the conversations with Mr Cowell, Barrymore discussed the events of the night Mr Lubbock died.

Mr Cowell, the brother of X Factor judge Simon Cowell, decided to keep the recordings in his safe.

Last weekend he attended the final of BBC singing show Any Dream Will Do, accompanied by the former “lifestyle guru” to Cherie Blair, Carole Caplin.

The TV host, who came out as gay in 1995, was attempting to rebuild a professional career shattered by Mr Lubbock’s death.

In September 2002 an inquest into Mr Lubbock’s death recorded open verdict.

The coroner said that none of the witnesses had given a proper explanation as to how the dead man was found floating in a swimming pool with a significant level of alcohol and drugs in his system and serious anal injuries.

At this point the BBC abandoned plans to publish Barrymore’s autobiography and ITV said it would not commission any further shows featuring the once-popular entertainer.

In September 2003 Barrymore quit his London comeback stage show

after only three nights.

In 2006 he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and he played Scrooge in the show based on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at a Wolverhampton theatre last Christmas.

Essex police have confirmed that they seized some tapes from Mr Cowell’s house but would not comment on their contents.