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The BBC's Steve Kingstone
"The police spent the day trying to work out what happened"
 real 56k

Norman Hicks of Essex Police
"We are keeping an open mind at the moment"
 real 56k

Saturday, 31 March, 2001, 18:57 GMT 19:57 UK
Swimming pool death at star's party
Michael Barrymore's house
Michael Barrymore's home where the man was found
A man who was found unconscious in a swimming pool at the home of entertainer Michael Barrymore may have drowned or died of hypothermia, police have said.

The man, believed to be in his 20s, who has not yet been identified, was discovered just before 0600BST on Saturday morning, Essex Police have confirmed.

Officers said they believe the man had been attending a party at the television presenter's house, in Roydon near Harlow.

Mr Barrymore was interviewed by police about the incident. He was said to have been staying with friends on Saturday afternoon.

Michael Barrymore pictued with best entertainment presenter and best comedy the National TV awards
Michael Barrymore is one of Britain's best known entertainers

The large black iron gates in front of the house were closed and a police car was sitting in the driveway.

A spokesman for the entertainer said: "Mr Barrymore is very, very upset over this tragic accident and his feelings go out to the young man's family."

Police say it is too early to say if the death is suspicious, but the man was not injured.

Ambulance crews were called to Mr Barrymore's house at 0550BST.

The man had been found in the swimming pool wearing only his boxer shorts.

He was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, but died two hours later despite efforts to revive him.

Post mortem

Police are appealing for help to work out who he is.

Norman Hicks, of Essex Police, described him as white, 5ft 11ins, aged about 25, with brown hair, blue-grey eyes and slightly overlapping front teeth.

He had arrived at the celebrity's house at about 0230BST after a night at the Millennium Club in Harlow.

Mr Hicks said: "At some stage he appears to have decided to go for a swim on his own."

A post mortem took place on Saturday but the results have not yet been released.

"This is to allow inquiries to establish the identity of the deceased to be progressed later this evening," a spokesman said.

Mr Barrymore is famous for his distinctive presenting style on hit shows including Strike It Lucky and My Kind Of People.

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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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