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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August, 2003, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
No BBC offer for Barrymore
Barrymore wants to be back in the spotlight
The BBC has denied there was a serious possibility of Michael Barrymore becoming a guest on TV show Room 101, despite an initial approach being made to him.

Barrymore, who used to front prime-time TV shows, revealed he had been contacted by the makers of the chat show-style programme about becoming a possible guest.

His career had been on hold while an investigation was carried out into the death of Stuart Lubbock, whose body was found in the presenter's swimming pool.

But after the inquest was completed - with no suggestion Barrymore was involved in the death - programme bosses felt the entertainer's career had been overshadowed by his off-screen activities.

He has subsequently given up drink and drugs but has still not found his way back to TV.

However the presenter is determined to get his career back on track, despite being "shunned" by TV bosses, and believes he deserves another chance.

Speaking after his speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival he said that he had been approached to appear on Room 101 and other BBC shows.

But the BBC said that as a matter of routine Barrymore's availability was checked for the next series of Room 101, which is hosted by Paul Merton and features celebrities listing their pet hates.

A spokesman said: "He, along with many other different artists, were approached by a researcher at a very early stage.

"He was never seriously considered and has not been asked to appear on Johnny Vaughan's show or any other BBC programme."


Barrymore, 51, was a special guest at the Edinburgh television festival, where he spoke about his life and career since the death of Mr Lubbock

After the investigation ended, Barrymore said he has not found an easy route back to TV as revelations about his private life continue to overshadow his previous "family-friendly" persona.

He had been tied to a lucrative exclusive contract with ITV but he was axed after the inquest returned an open verdict.

He said he felt sad about the way he believes he was treated by ITV, adding that after working for them for nine years he deserved support.

ITV insisted network bosses gave him back-up during the police investigation and inquest into Mr Lubbock's death, but he was eventually dropped last year and there were no plans for his return.

An ITV spokesman said: "They took a decision based on what they thought the public wanted."

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