16 years after he was sensationally dropped from the network, Michael Barrymore is to make his return to ITV later in a few weeks’ time.

The 65 year old presenter, who was axed from the broadcaster in 2002 in the aftermath of the death of Stuart Lubbock in his swimming pool at his home in Essex the previous year, will be appearing in an ITV3 documentary being broadcast at Easter about the late comedian Larry Grayson, for whom he was a warm-up act on ‘The Generation Game’ when Grayson replaced Bruce Forsyth as presenter in 1978.

“He had an amazing career out of just being Larry Grayson,” he says on the programme, titled ‘Shut That Door’.

Michael BarrymoreMichael Barrymore will be returning to ITV after 16 years

“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.”

More: Michael Barrymore wins damages claim against Essex Police

At the height of his career, Barrymore was one of the biggest TV stars in the country, fronting some of ITV's biggest family entertainment shows across the '80s and '90s, including ‘Strike It Lucky’, ‘My Kind of People’ and ‘Kids Say the Funniest Things’.

However, allegations about his personal life hit the tabloids in 2001 brought his career to a sudden halt.

Following a lengthy legal battle, Barrymore eventually won damages from Essex Police in 2017 for his wrongful arrest on suspicion of the rape and murder of Stuart Lubbock in 2007, when the police opened a new inquiry into the aspiring actor’s death. A High Court judge ruled that the police could not prove that the actor “could and would have been arrested lawfully”, and awarded Barrymore “more than nominal damages”.

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