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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 May, 2003, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
NZ comeback for Barrymore
Michael Barrymore
Barrymore's career has taken a battering in the UK
Troubled TV star Michael Barrymore is making a comeback as a stand-up comic with a tour of New Zealand and Australia.

The star is also reportedly finalising details of a show in London's West End later this year.

Barrymore's career nosedived in the UK after the inquest in September 2002 into the death of Stuart Lubbock, discovered in the swimming pool of the star's home in 2001.

An open verdict was recorded at the inquest, but ITV subsequently dropped Barrymore, previously one of its most popular performers, from its schedules.

Auckland will play host to the star's first night of a 10-date tour on Thursday and the British press will be there to review it.

Barrymore has been popular in New Zealand for several years, with his UK-recorded TV shows primetime viewing.

And on his arrival in Auckland two fans thought to be British even greeted him enthusiastically at the airport.

Barrymore told the Star Times newspaper that he was scared about his first night but knew he had to "produce the goods" if he was to achieve anything.

Michael Barrymore
Barrymore has fronted many variety shows

He will also perform in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch before flying to Australia for further shows.


Barrymore started his showbusiness career playing in working men's clubs, developing his "zany" act.

He graduated to slots as a warm-up guy for TV shows and guest appearances in comedy series before he was given The Michael Barrymore Show in 1983.

He then went on to host a number of his own game shows including Strike it Rich and Kids Say the Funniest Things.

But his squeaky clean image started to unravel when he revealed he was gay despite being married at the time and drink and drug accusations began soon after as Barrymore made a number of public appearances looking drunk.

The death of Stuart Lubbock following a party at his home did nothing to repair his reputation.

But he has repeatedly insisted he had no part to play in the death of the 31-year-old Essex man and that he co-operated fully at the inquest.

Bullish Barrymore plots comeback
12 Feb 03  |  TV and Radio
Barrymore calls for second inquest
29 Dec 02  |  TV and Radio
Barrymore: I'm no killer
30 Sep 02  |  Showbiz

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