Michael Barrymore has issued a fresh denial over any involvement in the drowning of a man in his swimming pool 19 years ago ahead of a new documentary exploring the unexplained death.
The 67-year-old posted a video on Twitter addressing Channel 4’s upcoming programme, due to air on Thursday night, which he said the broadcaster had not allowed him to watch.
He said: “I have had nothing to do with this whatsoever and yet I keep getting bashed and bullied by the media.”
Barrymore, who starred on Dancing On Ice last year, was one of the UK’s best-known TV presenters when Mr Lubbock was discovered at his then home in Roydon.
Mr Lubbock’s father Terry has told Barrymore it is “time to either clear your name or put your hands up”, having spent years seeking answers over the death – including a failed bid for a new inquest.
Barrymore said on Twitter his “heartfelt sympathies are with the Lubbock family and I truly hope they find peace”.
He added: “It is for that reason that I have constantly pressed for an independent police force to examine everything to do with the case and reach a proper conclusion, and I shall continue to do so.”
Barrymore also quoted Essex Police in his video, saying he had nothing to do with the death and that there was no evidence linking him to the pool or the injuries suffered by Mr Lubbock.
He said: “The truth is that I’ve always done everything anyone has asked of me and have cooperated with everyone.”
Barrymore said he may comment further once the documentary has aired, but encouraged people to watch previous interviews he has done regarding the still mysterious incident.
As I’ve made clear to everyone, I’m unable to comment because Channel 4 are refusing to show it to me or even let me know what it contains,” he said.
“However, I will say to anyone who would like to get to the truth of the matter that they should watch the ITV interview that I did last year with Piers Morgan. He went into everything and left no stone unturned.”
Essex Police’s Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings has told the Channel 4 programme he believes Mr Lubbock was “raped and murdered that night”, saying he may have been held down.
The officer said Mr Lubbock’s injuries were too severe to have been consensual or self-inflicted and that – on the “balance of probabilities” – it was “likely more than one person was involved”.
Essex Police and Crimestoppers are now offering a £20,000 reward for information.