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Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Barrymore sacking denied
Barrymore reported to be considered no longer suitable for the show
Barrymore reported to have fallen from grace
Newspaper reports that TV entertainer Michael Barrymore has been dropped from his primetime weekend show have been denied by its broadcaster.

A spokeswoman for London Weekend Television said the reports in The Sun and The Star on Tuesday were "totally untrue".

Both newspapers claimed that Barrymore had been dropped as host from LWT's Kids Say The Funniest Things.

They said that LWT bosses considered Barrymore unsuitable for the family show since police enquiries began into the death of a man following events at the presenter's home in March.

Stuart Lubbock
Stuart Lubbock: Found unconscious in pool

But a LWT spokeswoman told BBC News Online: "The story is simply not true.

"We still have one series of Kids Say The Funniest Things waiting to go out.

"Another series has not been commissioned but this is normal practice for most shows.

"We wait to see the ratings for one series before commissioning another."

Confirming this, a spokeswoman for ITV added that the tabloid reports about Barrymore and the show were a "complete non-story".

Saturday tea-time show Kids Say The Funniest Things sees Barrymore joking with child contestants.

Forensic tests

The man found floating in Barrymore's outdoor pool was Stuart Lubbock, 31.

He was unconscious and died later in hospital.

An inquest into his death was opened and a post-mortem revealed that he drowned.

Essex police questioned Barrymore as a matter of routine on the first weekend after the tragedy.

They are now awaiting the results of toxicology and forensic tests taken from Lubbock's body before further action is taken.

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See also:

31 Mar 01 | Showbiz
Barrymore's troubled life
11 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Barrymore is viewers' favourite
16 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Barrymore plans gay fatherhood
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