Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stirring times for Michael Barrymore

In the UK we have a rather vulgar term to describe a natural-born troublemaker: we call him a shit stirrer. And here's a book which will certainly stir the shit.

Michael Barrymore is a huge TV star in the UK, but he is unknown, I suspect, in the US. A few years ago, Barrymore's career came to a juddering halt after various revelations that he was gay. But what really made things difficult was the death of a gay man at one of Barrrymore's parties.

Rumours circulated, as rumours will, and since then he hasn't been working much -- though he did feature in last year's Celebrity Big Brother, which he didn't win.

Barrymore's catchphrase, in his heyday, was 'Awight?' This is a childish, lisping version of the enquiry 'All right?', which is, in parts of the UK at least, a version of 'How ya doin'?' (Look, I never said the man was an intellectual, OK? He's a popular entertainer, for the under 100 IQs, who constitute, by definition, a large part of the population.)

On 2 October 2006, as part of his rehabilitation process, Barrymore has a new book forthcoming from Simon and Schuster UK. Title: Awight Now: Setting the Record Straight.

So far so good. But now I am told that, released 16 October, will be a rather different Barrymore book. This is entitled Not Awight Getting Away With Murder. (ISBN 0-9546949-1-0.) It is written by Terry Lubbock and Andrew Simmons. And who they? Well, Terry Lubbock is the father of Stuart Lubbock, who died in Barrymore's swimming pool (allegedly; some say the swimming pool story is false).

You can find the S&S book listed on Amazon, where there is, in fact, rather more information about it than on the S&S official web site. We learn, for instance, that a new Channel 4 series is planned for Barrymore in the autumn.

Of the Lubbock/Simmons book, however, I can tell you little. Amazon denies all knowledge of it, and the only reference on Google (so far) is to a Daily Mirror report. Headed 'Lubbock book war', and dated 29 July, the story runs as follows:

Stuart Lubbock's father is rush-releasing his book about his son's death at Michael Barrymore's mansion to coincide with the faded star's autobiography.

The ex-Strike It Lucky host was expected to earn more than £1 million for his memoirs Awight Now: Setting the Record Straight.

But Terry Lubbock, 61, has decided to release his book Not Awight: Getting Away With Murder on the same day as the 54-year-old's launch, October 16.

Mr Lubbock insists Barrymore was not involved in the death of Stuart, 31, at his Essex home but believes he has never told all he knows. A pal said: "Terry just wants people to know the truth."

Well, this one will run and run. I love that final paragraph, don't you? It chimes so well with the book's title.

A search on Google for the Lubbock book's ISBN produces no result that I can find, but the number itself suggests to me that this is a one-off -- i.e. that Mr Lubbock is publishing it himself.

Of Mr Lubbock's co-writer, Andrew Simmons, I know nothing for certain either. But there is at least one Andrew Simmons with writing skills and show-business connections. He won an Edinburgh fringe award in 2004 for a cabaret show called Topping and Butch. The citation stated that 'Sharp, gifted, intellectual and daily-updated writing combined with their outstanding talents in speech, song, music and performance, produce political and news-based comedy of unrivalled power, delight, and - above all - fun.'

In the absence of other nominations I suspect that this may be our man. He knows show business and the gay world, and he can write. But whether this is or is not Mr Lubbock's co-author, his cabaret act certainly sounds interesting. 'Butch [i.e. Simmons] is slim, a younger lad, muscular and balletic, with a relaxed and easy-going style, fetish gauntlets, tight leather shorts, and a whip. Apart from that, they're both more or less naked, except for matching Doc Marten boots.'

I am going to Edinburgh myself this year, and must remember to look out for it.

How did I find out about Mr Lubbock's potentially contentious book? An anonymous person yesterday posted a comment on my 27 January 2006 piece about Tesco.com. After giving the book's title and authors we are told, in slightly careless prose:
"Father of Stuart Lubbock Terry works with professionalal analyst, team up to trawl through dozens of witness statements, expert and forensic reports and piece together how Stuart Lubbock was killed. A monumental cover-up is revealed, showing that this was no accidental drowning." Unquote. Will Tesco be stocking, Not Awight along side Michael Barrymore's Awight Now, they have the same release dates.
I wonder if any of the newspapers will cover this -- or will it be too hot to handle? Watch this space.

24 comments:

Atyllah said...

Some things just won't go away...
This should make for a fun occasion - bound to be a lot of "not awight". I'll be watching newspaper spaces with interest and amusement.

Ray said...

Your reasoning for fingering that particular Andrew Simmons seems a trifle slim, not to mention potentially libellous. It could well be, for instance, the Andrew Simmons who is a well-known wrestler who is famous enough to have a Wikipedia entry (that famous). Or, indeed, any one of the many hundreds of people named Andrew Simmons for whom there is no information available on the web, not to mention any one of the thousands of people just this moment considering Andrew Simmons as a good pseudonym to write a book under that may never get written.

Anonymous said...

Quote from this site: "But what really made things difficult was the death of a gay man at one of Barrymore's parties."
Stuart Lubbock died at Michael Barrymore's home in 2001. An open verdict on the Barrymore Pool Death was recorded at the Coroners Inquest at Epping in 2002. At the end of the Inquest the chief investigating officer Detective Chief Superintendent Ian McNeil said: " It was established that a violent assault had taken place but we were inable to establish who was responsible for those injuries (to Mr Lubbock) or his death." At this time there is an ongoing police review of the Lubbock case, which remains unexplained and unsolved. It might well be the only way the truth may emerge is from a book or indeed a documentary, there are many that are not looking forward to both and will do their utmost to stop them. It has never been established that Stuart Lubbock was gay, the Lubbock family have strongly objected to this and denied it as untrue.

aboutblank said...

A "shit stirrer"?? That's a new one on me.

aj

Anonymous said...

Today's Daily Express 15 August 2006 'Day & Night section has a large peice on both Michael Barrymore' book 'Awight Now' Putting The record Straight, rumoured to have nothing new from Barrymore on the Lubbock death. However Terry Lubbock's book 'Not Awight'- Getting Away with Murder, may have some new facts in it regarding the death of Stuart Lubbock. The Daily Exppress article is called, " Barrymore book is slammed by pool victim's dad." Looks like we have not heard the last of this 'Book War'or Michael Barrymore, I wonder if there will be a joint book signing.

Anonymous said...

Michael Barrymore's new book 'Awight Now' Putting The Record Straight. By Michael Barrymore.Release date 2 October 2006. It was available on Amazon however it now reads Currently unavailable? "Availabilty:
This title is currently NOT AVAILABLE. If you would like to purchase this title, we recomend that you occasionally check this page to see if it has become available." There also seems to be some confusion as to if its called Putting or Setting in the title? I wonder if there is a dispute on the publication of this book? I understand Terry Lubbock father of Stuart Lubbock has made an objection to the publishers, Simon & Schuster.

Anonymous said...

Yet another twist to the death of Stuart Lubbock, at Michael Barrymore's home is the disciplinary tribunal at the 'Old Bailey' of Home office pathollogist Dr Michael Heath who carried out the post mortem on Stuart Lubbock. Dr Heath had been in his job for some 14 year, when he was suspened from his job. The question needs to be asked how did this man manage to keep his job after so many bungled examinations. I understand that Terry Lubbock father of Stuart is calling for Dr Heath to be struck off. With a police review on the Lubbock case ongoing and books by Michael Barrymore, 'Awight Now' and Terry Lubbock's book, 'Not Awight' Getting Away With Murder. The Party is not yet over for Michael Barrymore , the same cannot be said for Michael Heath his career looks over.

Anonymous said...

Dr Michael Heath resigns as Home Office pathologist.

Anonymous said...

Michael Barrymore first book signing at Waterstones Oxford Street October 2 2006. Terry Lubbock brands Michael Barrymore a Liar.

Anonymous said...

The Piers Morgan Interview with Michael Barrymore in December issue Barrymore says he knows the names. The Lubbock case is getting more like a who done it Murder Mystery each day. This is an increadable twist in the story. Michael Barrymore is set to star in Scrooge in Aberdeen. He turns the Christmas lights on with the Lady Provost on Sunday 19th November.

Anonymous said...

Michael Barrymore's book only 15,000 sales, seems very poor, it has cost the publishers a reported £900,000 lets hope the receipts for Scrooge the musical staring Michael Barrymore fair better.

Anonymous said...

Today Monday 15 January 2007 Guardian reports sales of only 5,000 copies of Michael Barrymore's new book. ' Awight Now'. Looks like it is one of last years big celebrity flops.

Anonymous said...

The News Of The World have run a story 21 January on the Lubbock Barrymore case & Terry Lubbock's book Not Awight Getting Away With Murder By Terry Lubbock & Tony Bennett. http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/story_pages/news/news3.shtml

Anonymous said...

I understand that the Publicist and PR Guru Mark Borkowski is now Michael Barrymore's and Scrooge the musical PR man. Borkowski is famous for his publicity stunts. I wonder what he is going to think up for Michael Barrymore? A ticket home to New Zealand maybe, stunts PR Publicty Public Relations who really needs them. A good read maqybe Borkowski book.
' Imprproperganda'.

Anonymous said...

Michael Barrymore home in Roydon named in the AOL list of most Grusome homes, list includes the home of Fred & Rose West.

Anonymous said...

Michael Barrymore returns to New Zealand.

Broken Biscuits said...

I wish Barrymore would be left alone, the gutter press have hounded a quality entertainer out of his career and out of his country.

Methinks Terry Lubbock loves the limelight more than Barrymore ever did.

Anonymous said...

Michael Barrymore once King of Saturday night, poor old Michael Barrymore his career in taters, returns to New Zealand. Terry Lubbock lost his son at Michael Barrymore's home in 2001. Stuart suffered horrific anal injuries. The only reason Terry Lubbock likes the limelight is to find the truth behind his son's death, this was no ordinary drowning, in fact the aledged drowning may have been one big fairy story.

Anonymous said...

Nobody can love the 'Limelight' more than Michael Barrymore. Unfortunatly the day Stuart Lubbock died at Michael Barrymore's home the 'Spotlight' came on the once King of Satuarday entertainment Michael Barrymore.

Anonymous said...

Methinks the lady protesth too much.

Mr Lubbock quite clearly can't come to terms with his late son's sexuality.

No amount of hounding Mr Barrymore out of the country can posthumously change someone's sexuality.

Anonymous said...

Not Awight Getting Away With Murder by Terry Lubbock & Tony Bennet. Paperback 404 pages. Available at Amazon & all good book shops price £9.95

Harry Cichy said...

Terry Lubbock calls for Essex Coroner Carloline Beasley Murray for a new Coroners Inquest into the death of his son Stuart Lubboc. In 2002 the Coroner reached an 'Open Verdict' into Stuart's death.

Anonymous said...

Stuart Lubbock born 1st October 1969 died 31 March 2001. Have you any information on the events of 31 March 2001? Please contact Terry Lubbock or Essex Police.

Anonymous said...

A memorial has been sent to The Attorney General by Terry Lubbock requesting a new coroners inquest into the death of Stuart Lubbock who was found at entertainer Michael Barrymore's home with fatal criminal injuries. This is based on new fact & evidence.