Michael Barrymore announces he's leaving the UK for Spain - 23 years after Stuart Lubbock died in his pool

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Michael Barrymore is leaving the UK for sunnier shores - and is taking his TikTok followers with him.

Michael Barrymore has announced his decision to leave the UK at the age of 72 to “change his life for the better.”

The former TV host and comedian was one of Britain’s leading presenters during the 80s and 90s, with a series of hit shows like Strike It Lucky, My Kind of People, and Kids Say The Funniest Things. He also hosted his own variety show, Barrymore.

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However, his long-standing career was brought to an abrupt halt in 2001 following the death of 31-year-old Stuart Lubbock, who was found unresponsive in Barrymore’s swimming pool at his Essex home after a party and later died. Although Barrymore was never charged and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on his part, the case remains high profile and unsolved.

Now, 23 years later, Barrymore is no longer on television despite several attempted comebacks, but he has gained a significant following on social media, particularly on TikTok, where his videos have earned him 113m likes and 2.7m followers. Now, his TikToks could have a sunnier background as he revealed he was switching the grey skies of the UK for the sunshine in Spain.

He said: “Yes, I am moving to Barcelona. I’m 72 now and I realise that quality of life is more important to me than anything. So, I’m going to Spain. I love the place, it’s not the Spain that I grew up with, all the package resorts that we all know. This is mainland Spain. It’s amazing. The culture there and the people and just the art and everything.

“Once I decide which villa I like, probably around Lloret de Mar, I really like it there. Of course I’m going to take Dave [his dog] with me and of course, I’m going to take you guys with me. So don’t worry, I’m going to vlog everything and you’re going to join me all the way through this entire story.

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“Until I find the villa of my dreams I’m going to find as much as I can about it, download Duolingo, learn the language. I can’t wait.”

Barrymore’s decision to move comes more than two decades after Mr. Lubbock, a butcher from Harlow, died following a party at his home in March 2001. A post-mortem revealed Mr. Lubbock had suffered “horrific” injuries prior to his death and there was evidence of serious sexual assault. Alcohol, ecstasy, and cocaine were also found in his system.

Initially, police believed Mr. Lubbock had drowned, but further examinations found “no unequivocal evidence” of this. Despite several arrests, no one has ever been charged, and some witnesses in the case have since died.

Late last year, Essex Police issued another appeal for information as a new documentary, The Rise and Fall of Mr. Saturday Night, aired on Channel 5. Barrymore has always denied any involvement in the death. Mr. Lubbock’s father, Terry, campaigned tirelessly for justice for his son but died in 2021, age 76.

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