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Last Updated: Monday, 10 September 2007, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Profile: Michael Barrymore
Michael Barrymore was one of the UK's top light entertainers until March 2001, when the body of a man was found in the swimming pool at his home after a party.

Michael Barrymore
Barrymore has struggled through battles with drink and drugs
After a reinvestigation of the death of 31-year-old Stuart Lubbock, the Crown Prosecution has recommended that the TV presenter should not be charged.

Barrymore had previously been given an official caution for drug offences and a coroner recorded an open verdict over the death in September 2002.

The comedian has admitted he considered ending his life because of the stress surrounding the incident.

Butlins Redcoat

Michael Barrymore's showbusiness career has seen him struggle with a troubled private life and battles with drink and drugs.

Born Michael Parker in 1952, he changed his surname after reading a book about actors Lionel and John Barrymore.

His childhood in Bermondsey, south-east London, was marred by unhappiness.

Michael Barrymore in 1983
Barrymore became one of the best paid celebrities on TV in the 1980s
His father left home when Barrymore was 11. He left school at 15 and worked as a Butlins Redcoat and, back in London, in the toy department of the Selfridges department store.

His career took off under the guidance of late wife and manager Cheryl, whom he met when she was a dancer in a West End show. They married in 1976.

Making a name for himself on TV shows including the BBC's Get Set Go and ITV's Strike It Lucky, Barrymore became one of the best paid celebrities on TV.

But in 1995, after years of rumours, the star announced he was gay in a radio interview and moved out of the home he had shared with Cheryl.

He was to go through several failed reunions with his wife.

'Terribly sorry'

Barrymore's career took a downturn in the mid-1990s when viewing figures slumped on his variety shows.

But he went on to present My Kind of Music and Kids Do the Funniest Things for London Weekend Television and tried his hand at acting in TV series Bob Martin.

However, controversy was never far away - in 2000 he was warned by police over a drugs find in a hotel room.

Early in 2001, he reportedly appeared drunk on stage at a fundraising event for a children's charity at a London hotel.

The day after Mr Lubbock's death, Barrymore checked into the Marchwood Priory in Southampton, a clinic commonly used by celebrities battling addictions and depression.

In the summer of 2001, ITV put Barrymore's upcoming series Kids Say the Funniest Things on hold, and in September his mother Margaret died aged 89 from throat cancer.

In October, police officially cautioned Barrymore for possessing cannabis and for allowing premises to be used for the smoking of the drug on the day of Mr Lubbock's death.

Later that month, Barrymore spoke publicly for the first time about the events, saying: "I'm terribly sorry, I'm sorry for Stuart, he didn't deserve to die.

"I didn't know how it happened or what happened, to this day I don't know what happened to him."

But there was better news when Barrymore won a National Television Award for his show My Kind of Music - seen by many as a public vote of confidence.

Show cancelled

In May 2003, Barrymore began to try to rebuild his career with a low-key tour of New Zealand and Australia.

But ticket sales were poor when he tried to relaunch his UK career in September in London's West End, and he dropped out after three performances.

Barrymore citied "personal reasons" and the pressure of the previous two years.

He moved to New Zealand with partner Shaun Davis, and in May 2004 filed for bankruptcy after receiving a "surprise" tax bill, reported to be in the region of 1.4m.

In September 2005, Barrymore found himself back in the headlines when he gave evidence against a man who was later convicted of making false sex claims against him.

Public scrutiny

The presenter's career showed signs of bouncing back in January 2006 with a well-received appearance on TV's Celebrity Big Brother. He was beaten into second place by Chantelle Houghton.

And in February 2006, he made a return as a TV host, presenting The Friday Night Project on Channel 4, and was a guest on Graham Norton's show.

Barrymore finished the year performing the lead in a touring production of Scrooge - The Musical in the UK.

However, a new inquiry was opened in into Mr Lubbock's death in December.

Barrymore said of the development: "This has to be cleared up for once and for all. You have to remember... my pain is no different to anybody else's who has problems, except mine is public."

Barrymore split with Davis in March 2007 and shortly after moved back to the UK.

Then in June this year, Essex Police said they had received new evidence in the case and Barrymore was arrested.

Now, however, Barrymore has been released without charge, with the Crown Prosecution Service saying there is "still no answer in either the scientific or medical evidence how or by whose hand Mr Lubbock died".


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