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Wednesday, 6 June, 2001, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Barrymore's varied career
Michael Barrymore
Barrymore announced he was gay in a radio interview
Michael Barrymore has experienced the ups and downs of a showbusiness career, but he has continued to win the hearts of viewers.

The 49-year-old comic entertainer last year added to his trophy cabinet with two National TV awards for best entertainment presenter and best comedy performer.

After 19 years of marriage to his manager Cheryl he announced he was gay in an extraordinary late night radio interview.

After his public admission in 1995, he was to go through several failed reunions with Cheryl.

Barrymore was born Michael Parker, but changed his surname after reading a book about actors Lionel and John Barrymore.

New Faces

Barrymore and ex-wife Cheryl
Michael and Cheryl: Married in 1976
His childhood in Bermondsey, south-east London, was marred by unhappiness.

His father left home when Barrymore was 11.

He was later estranged from his mother.

He left school at 15 and worked as a Butlin's Redcoat and in the toy department of Selfridge's department store in London.

But his career only took off under the guidance of his wife Cheryl, who he met when she was a dancer in a West End show. They married in 1976.

His career really took off after winning the talent show New Faces.

Workaholic Barrymore is one of the best paid TV comics, making a name for himself on shows including Strike It Lucky.


When ratings slumped in the mid 1990s he took on new challenges such as My Kind of Music and Kids Do The Funniest Things.

Barrymore even tried his hand at acting in the television series Bob Martin.

He also played the dance captain in the Spice Girls big screen venture Spice World.

Barrymore recently split with long-term boyfriend Shaun Davis, 24, a former stockbroker, who he "married" at a ceremony 18 months ago.

The pair had previously told of their desire to adopt a baby.

See also:

11 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Barrymore is viewers' favourite
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