Michael Barrymore makes a return to TV 16 years after being axed by ITV

Mike P Williams
The star will return to the channel that gave him the boot in 2002. (PA)

It’s been a while since Michael Barrymore graced the small screen, but he’s about to make a return to ITV for the first time in almost two decades.

The television channel famously dropped the star in 2002, the year following scandalous headlines he was linked to when his friend Stuart Lubbock was found dead in the swimming pool of his Essex home.

Now, the 65-year-old is about to make a return to ITV for the tribute show to Larry Grayson that airs next month.

Featuring on the ITV3 documentary titled Shut That Door, Barrymore, who was a warm-up act on The Generation Game back in the day, when Grayson replaced the late Sir Bruce Forsyth in 1978.

Barrymore said: ‘He had an amazing career out of just being Larry Grayson. He was unique.’

‘I was a warm-up man for him. He fumbled his way through the programme; you were never sure he was going to get through to the end of the show in one piece. But he always did.’

The star will return to the channel that gave him the boot in 2002. (PA)

In 2007, the comedian and presenter won High Court damages after wrongfully being arrested by police for the rape and murder of Lubbock.

Barrymore was one of the country’s most popular and eccentric TV hosts in the 1990s, presenting prime time programmes like Strike It Lucky and My Kind of People.

Shortly after ITV cut ties with the star they also cancelled a previously recorded Kids Say the Funniest Things and had a number of other telly appearances scrapped, including on the BBC.

Barrymore also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother back in 2006 and was reportedly paid £150,000. He famously fell out with George Gallaway and finished as the reality show’s runner-up to Chantelle Houghton.

Shut That Door will air on ITV3, in April.

Read more:

Gary Barlow says ‘no chance to Take That reunion
Will Young told voice was ‘too gay’ after winning Pop Idol
Matt Cardle suggests Ant McParlin didn’t get the the right sort of rehab aftercare