Michael Barrymore’s Big Brother Comeback

‘Shamed TV entertainer’ – as he was re-Christened by the British press – Michael Barrymore’s new autobiography ‘Awight Now: Setting the Record Straight’ has just been published by Simon & Schuster.

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I’ve yet to see a copy, but the title and the blurb, the publicity, the large publisher behind it and the reports of a C4 series later this year suggest that Barrymore’s remarkable fight-back from being depicted as the most reviled figure in British light-entertainment history, if not British public life, and exiled to the penal colony of New Zealand, continues. It was dramatically kick-started earlier this year by his surprise appearance on Celebrity Big Brother and, even more surprisingly, not only somehow surviving right to the end but being voted the most popular actual celeb in the house. This in the teeth of a vicious hate campaign against him in the press.

It was a rather reckless move – it could easily have ended very differently, especially given his erratic behaviour – but perhaps it was entirely of a piece with our times that the victim of a (press) media show-trial should have volunteered to appear in another (TV) media show-trial as a way of rehabilitating himself. Particularly a man who had once been the nation’s favourite TV entertainer.

Almost everyone loves a winner, it seems. Especially The Sun, which didn’t spare him anything when he was in the House, making endless ‘jokes’ about ‘swimming pools’ and stirring up ‘outrage’, but then performed an impressively shameless volte face after his victory. The week after the series ended they finally printed the facts of the case instead of the fantasies, and presented Barrymore as a man wrongly blamed by the press for Lubbock’s death and injuries – cleverly stealing a march on its rivals, who were still peddling the tired old story of Barrymore the anal-rapist-murderer, or, sorry, ‘morally responsible’ anal-rapist-murderer.

All this was of course presented as a ‘scoop’ and the result of The Sun’s own ‘special investigation’ but, as was pointed out by at least one media commentator, much of what they ‘revealed’ as ‘new evidence’ was to be found in a three-year-old Independent On Sunday article by yours truly (posted below) – which I had based on the fiendishly clever stratagem of simply reading the transcripts of the public inquest into Lubbock’s death. The same inquest at which all the major newspapers – including The Sun – had staff reporters.

I predicted at the end of the piece that this scandal could turn out to be Barrymore’s last and biggest hit show and that the British public would never be able to forgive him or themselves for the crimes he committed in their minds, rather than real life. CBB seems to have proved me wrong about the first part and Barrymore seems to be doing his best to prove me wrong about the second.

5 thoughts on “Michael Barrymore’s Big Brother Comeback

  1. My pleasure, Charlotte. People often use the cliche ‘comedy genius’, but I think Barrymore in his prime really was something approaching that. Or at least, a ‘physical comedy genius’.

  2. When I lived in the UK I absolutely fell in love with the comedy genious of Michael Barrymore. That man made me laugh harder than I ever laughed and to this day, no one has made me laugh harder. I remember on his show when he got this little old dear out of the audience and danced with her and she some how ended up lying on the floor between his legs and laughing so hard she couldn’t get up.

    I always wondered what happened to him and now I know. I hate how the press can ruin people like that. I was hoping he would make an American debut but probably no chance of that now huh? I would love to see more comedy from him. He is absolutely brilliant!

    Thanks for this update.

  3. Michael is a lovely brilliant entertainer and is still standing, he is very strong and all his fans are behind him including me.
    With all the nastiness towards Michael, he is a true man to himself and he is a credit to the world we live him, I absolutely love and adore him he is a genuine man and very sensitive, some of us are, he is down to earth I love that in him.
    He is the most beautiful human being i have come to know second to my late partner.
    I wish opiniated people would shut up, he is not guilty of anything and stop being predidist, we all have a degree of Gay inside of us and there is nothing wrong with that.He is a wonderful man.

  4. Excellent update Mark-hope Michael continues to survive and prosper;he has done well re recent tv appearances.

    For fan coverage(including my sometimes manic rantings-I love a good rant!- sometimes restrained and thoughtful-and other fans’ coverage and thoughts including on the Lubbock affair):-

    of MBarrymore and his awful not awwright at all the way he has been treated by the media in the past-but will probably be awwright in the end-“plight”(lots of plugs for Mark’s article and website included!)visit

    http://www.michaelbarrymore.net

    which my mate Nicky runs!

    will f/wd article to Nicky and her website!

    “SING IF YOU’RE GLAD TO BE GAY”(or bisexual or “whatever”!)don’t let the real “sods” and “buggers” in the media grind us down!Unite and fight- or words to that effect!

    Love and Healing Paul xxx

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