Troubled TV funnyman Michael Barrymore has spoken of his drug arrest shame – and said he is putting it behind him.
The 59-year-old entertainer, who was fined £780 last Wednesday after pleading guilty to cocaine possession following an early-morning car crash, said: “It’s time to move on”.
“I’m very well and I’m doing what I’ve got to do to keep well. I’m looking to the future and seeing what opportunities there are and deciding what’s right for me.
“I always go with my instinct. If you do that, you can’t go wrong.”
The funnyman was in Birmingham to co-host a show on Big City Radio with presenter Darren Yates on Saturday morning. The pair have been friends for 18 years after Darren, a fan, met him backstage.
Michael said: “It’s the first time I’ve been on the show. We’re just seeing what happens. Like a lot of things I do.”
And the entertainer, who brought along his dog Dave, the Jack Russell, said being in Birmingham brought back fond memories.
“The first episode of My Kind of People was filmed in the Bullring. It was just me and a camera man and small team. That’s what kicked it off. Everything went from there.”
For a decade Michael Barrymore was the king of light entertainment with his shows regularly attracting audiences of up to 13 million.
But his career went into freefall following the death of a partygoer at his Essex mansion ten years ago.
A one-man show at Wyndhams Theatre, in London, was scrapped due to poor ticket sales and he moved to New Zealand. There was more bad news when he filed for bankruptcy in 2004.
Barrymore kept a low profile from then on, starring as lawyer Billy Flynn in a version of Chicago in New Zealand, but returned to the UK in 2006 as one of the housemates in Celebrity Big Brother where he proved popular enough to take second place.
Michael said the public had been a great support to him. “The public have been amazingly supportive. I joined Twitter recently. I’m still getting into it but the response has been amazing.”
The star is now working on a screen play and hopes to move back into entertainment. He said: “I’m just finishing off a screen play. It’s called Billy Likely and we’re hoping to film it next year. It’s about selfishness. We’re all selfish, me included.”
He added: “I would like to do a late night chat show. It would be nice to move onto that.”