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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 August, 2003, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Barrymore 'deserves another chance'
Michael Barrymore
Michael Barrymore: Time to move on
Former TV host Michael Barrymore has said he deserves another chance at rekindling his career.

The star said he had been "shunned" by TV bosses on Friday night when he appeared at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

He was taking part in a debate on whether TV stars' private lives should affect their screen careers.

Mr Barrymore's 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, 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.

If I am in a car and, God forbid, the driver runs somebody over, does it mean I am to blame because I am sitting in the passenger's seat?
Michael Barrymore
On Saturday, Mr Barrymore, 51, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he had been the victim of press misreporting following Mr Lubbock's death.

"It is time to get on. It is two-and-a-half years ago since the tragedy happened," he said.

"It will never be forgotten and will never go away for the family and I, certainly, the sadness will never leave me but I know life has to go on."

'Clean and sober'

He said performers should be judged on their programmes and not on their past.

"I have got myself clean and sober over two-and-a-half years," he said.

"If you have made the effort in life, if anybody has made the effort, to get themselves well and together again are they supposed to be castigated for the rest of their lives for something that happened in their past?"

Mr Barrymore said he had been given the cold shoulder by television bosses at the festival event on Friday night.

Michael Barrymore
Barrymore was one of UK TV's most successful entertainers
He said: "I must have had 'quarantine' slapped on my back because nobody came near me.

"They seem to be continuing this no contact. It is a shame that people do not find out both sides of the story before they make wild statements or decisions.

"If I am in a car and, God forbid, the driver runs somebody over, does it mean I am to blame because I am sitting in the passenger's seat?"

Tickets for a forthcoming live show were going "very well" said Mr Barrymore, adding that it should be up to audiences whether he returned to TV.

"What will be will be. I am not going to go on television just for the sake of being on television," he said.

'Cap in hand'

"If it is the right project I will do it and if it does not come along, then I will not continue in that vein.

"I'm not going to go cap in hand to anybody. I never have."

Mr Barrymore added: "People can choose or not choose whether they want to see me again.

"That is not my choice. That will remain the public's choice."

In June, Mr Barrymore announced plans to return to the showbiz world with a stint in London's West End.

In Edinburgh, he was sharing a stage with former Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon, who has successfully revived his career after allegations of drug use ended his run on children's TV.

Mr Bacon has since bounced back as a radio presenter and a host of BBC1's Top of the Pops.

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