- Channel 5
- Kevin Lubbock and Michael Barrymore
- Grant Armour
- Nathaniel Lippiett
In the 90s, Michael Barrymore was a universally-loved British TV presenter. His anarchic quiz show Strike It Lucky and chaotic self-titled variety show Barrymore gained up to 20 million viewers every week. In the eyes of the public, he could do no wrong.
Unable to replicate the euphoria he felt on screen, Barrymore often turned to drink and drugs - his wife and business manager Cheryl sending him to rehab to kick the demons that threatened his life and career.
In 1995, Barrymore came out as gay during an era of homophobia in the British tabloid press - but his open homosexuality didn't dent his popularity with shows like My Kind Of Music and Kids Say The Funniest Things securing his reputation as an all-round family entertainer.
It wasn't until a fateful night in 2001, where an after-party at Barrymore's luxury mansion in Essex ended his career and the life of a young man: Stuart Lubbock.
The sordid details of the night in question were aired in the media and a pathologist's report concluded that Stuart had suffered severe sexual injuries prior to death taking place. Despite numerous arrests being made, no-one was charged or convicted with Stuart's indecent assault and murder.
Barrymore's multiple attempts to resurrect his career have since failed due to the dark cloud of Stuart's death and campaign for justice by his father, Terry Lubbock.
From the team behind documentaries on Noel Edmonds and Hughie Green, this feature-length biopic is packed with nostalgic TV moments, cinematic reconstructions and candid interviews with the people who witnessed first-hand Barrymore's meteoric rise and colossal fall - featuring a moving interview with Stuart's brother Kevin Lubbock. This film covers it all in an operatic saga of light entertainment and heavy drama, with a powerful portrait of a tragic character: Barrymore.
- First broadcast
- Saturday 18th November 2023 at 9pm on Channel 5
- Episode length
- 85 minutes
- All previous repeats
- Thursday 23rd November 2023 at 11:35pm on C5