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Tuesday, 21 August, 2001, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
ITV 'stands by' Barrymore
Michael Barrymore
Barrymore: New series of TV show 'on hold'
ITV has put the latest series from troubled entertainer Michael Barrymore on hold, but has said it will not abandon the star.

The presenter, who is on bail on suspicion of drugs offences after a man was found dead at his house, had recorded a new series of hit show Kids Say the Funniest Things.


We have stood by Michael throughout this process - he has not been charged with anything

David Liddiment
ITV
But the channel said it will not broadcast it until the police investigation is over as a mark of "human dignity".

"I see no reason... for ITV to abandon Michael Barrymore," said director of channels David Liddiment.

"There's a process [of law] that we have to respect. When that process has taken its course, we'll make a decision about what to do."

Mr Liddiment described the star as "an extraordinarily talented man" who has had great difficulties in life.

But he said he had had no conversations with Mr Barrymore about his future.

Treatment

"We have stood by Michael throughout this process. He has not been charged with anything."

Mr Barrymore, 49, was re-bailed by Essex police last week after flying back from America, where he received treatment at a rehabilitation clinic.

Stuart Lubbock
Stuart Lubbock: Found unconscious in pool
He was arrested in June on suspicion of possession and supply of a Class B drug, possession of a Class A drug, and allowing premises to be used for the taking of a Class B drug.

He has not been charged by police.

The arrest followed the death of Stuart Lubbock, 31, at Mr Barrymore's Essex home.

Police carried out a new forensic search of the property last week, although this was in connection with the murder investigation, and not Mr Barrymore's drugs charges.

Two men arrested on suspicion of murder were also bailed by police on last week.

One of them is John Kenney, 31, from Blackpool, a close friend of Mr Barrymore. The other is Justin Merrit, 26, from Harlow.

Inquest

Mr Lubbock, a butchery worker from Harlow and father-of-two, died at the bungalow on 31 March.

Mr Barrymore will now have to report to police again in October.

An inquest into Mr Lubbock's death has been opened.

A post mortem examination revealed he had drowned and the results of toxicology tests on his body are being assessed.

See also:

17 Aug 01 | UK
Barrymore house search ends
05 Jun 01 | TV and Radio
Barrymore sacking denied
06 Jun 01 | Showbiz
Barrymore's varied career
01 Apr 01 | Showbiz
Barrymore's troubled life
11 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Barrymore is viewers' favourite
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