TV personality Michael Barrymore has admitted that he came close to killing himself over the allegations levelled against him after a man was found dead in his swimming pool in March 2001. In his first interview for ten years, he admitted that he felt as if he had been "murdered" by the tabloid press following the death of Stuart Lubbock - and that he planned to bring cases against them for phone hacking. "The press killed Michael Barrymore. My real name is Michael Parker, but Michael Barrymore is dead," he said in the interview with the Independent. "Although I have been a couple of times to the jumping-off point, I didn't kill myself. If I had, it would have completed the story." Lubbock, who was 31, was found to have traces of ecstasy and cocaine in his system when his body was found in the grounds of Barrymore's Essex mansion - while the TV star also had to weather allegations that he had been the victim of a sexual assault before he died. The subsequent inquest into his death, which recorded an open verdict, effectively destroyed Barrymore's popularity. The entertainer once against stated his innocence, saying: "I never shy away from the fact that I'm an alcoholic and that I have had my problems, but I've never murdered anybody. "I've never got up in the morning and thought I'll harm someone. I've just had an extraordinary sequence of events that have been on public display, that I've had no control over," he added. "It was just a party that went disastrously wrong, with a tragic ending. I've basically been framed for a murder - one that didn't take place."
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.