Current Affairs

Decision on Barrymore charges next week

PinkNews Staff Writer September 7, 2007
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Gay comic Michael Barrymore will find out next week if he is to face charges over the death of a man at his Essex home six years ago.

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.

The comedian and TV presenter “categorically denies” the allegations that have been made against him.

The arrest of Mr Barrymore in June came after audio recordings he made in preparation for a possible biography were seized by police 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.

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

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