Unexplained: Channel 4 orders true crime documentary about Michael Barrymore mystery
Staff Reporter | On 15, Jan 2020Reading time: 2 mins
Channel 4 has commissioned a true crime documentary that will explore one of the most shocking and controversial unexplained stories of the last twenty years.
In the early hours of 31st March 2001, a phone call was made to Essex Emergency Services to say a body had been found in the swimming pool of television presenter, Michael Barrymore. At the time, Barrymore was one of the most popular entertainers in Britain. When Paramedics arrived, Stuart Lubbock’s lifeless body was found by the side of Barrymore’s swimming pool.
Every detail of the story was poured over by the media. Was it a drug-fuelled orgy? Was Stuart gay? Did Stuart drown or was there another cause of death? Why did Barrymore flee from his home? Would Barrymore’s career ever recover from the disturbing event?
19 years on, this landmark 90-minute documentary explores the full story behind one of Britain’s most high-profile unexplained deaths, as told by the people closest to it. 18 months in the making and with access to never-before-seen material from inside one of Essex Police’s most controversial unsolved cases, the documentary forensically pieces together the perspectives of the Lubbock family, detectives, forensic pathologists and eyewitnesses, to explore what happened that night at Barrymore’s Essex bungalow and the extraordinary events that followed.
The documentary explores our changing tabloid culture, our relationship to celebrity, and our attitudes to homosexuality, but at its heart is the tragic story of a family still searching for the truth.
Terry Lubbock, Stuart’s father, says: “This documentary is about the questions around what happened to my son Stuart Lubbock. Finally. The story has become so distorted and confused over the years. So much has been said and written. It’s time to put all the facts together in one place.”
Channel 4 commissioning editor Alisa Pomeroy adds: “This film is a reflective piece that tells the story of an unexplained tragedy that unfolded in the glare of an unforgiving media. It sheds light on the complex relationship between celebrity, the criminal justice system and an all-powerful tabloid press in the early noughties, but most of all, it’s the deeply moving story of the Lubbock family’s continuing quest for answers and justice, nearly 20 years on.”