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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Kyle O'Sullivan & Sophie McCoid

Shocking 999 call after pool tragedy at Michael Barrymore's released for first time

The 999 call made from Michael Barrymore's home after Stuart Lubbock was found in the swimming pool has been released for the first time.

In the early hours of 31 March 2001, a phone call was made to Essex emergency services to say a body had been found in the swimming pool of the television presenter.

The 999 call has never been released to the public until now in a new Channel 4 documentary Barrymore: The Body In The Pool, which will examine what happened on the night of Stuart Lubbock's tragic death.

At 05:48am, one of party goers tells the operator he wants an ambulance to come to Beaumont Park Drive, Roydon, Essex - reports Mirror Online.

The caller tells the operator: "A geezer's drowned in the pool."

The operator then asks if they have got the man, Stuart Lubbock, out of the water.

police image of michael barrymore's pool after stuart lubbock death (Channel 4)

After explaining that they have got Stuart out of the water, the caller then reveals they were at a party, adding: "Someone's just gone out and found him."

The distressed caller then tells the call handler that it was the first time he had been out in years and he has his kids every weekend.

Referring to the grim discovery, he said: "You don't expect it, do you?"

There is then a jump forward as the caller shouts out to another partygoer as the ambulance arrives at Barrymore's house.

As someone waits on the main road for the ambulance, the caller says: "F**king hell. I think the geezer's dead mate."

At the time, Barrymore was one of the most popular entertainers in Britain and the incident sparked huge public interest with every detail poured over by the media.

Here is the full transcript of the chilling 999 call:

Operator: Where do you want the ambulance to come to please?

Caller: "No.4 Beaumont Park Drive, Roydon, Essex."

Operator: "Right, we'll get someone out for you."

Caller: "A geezer's drowned in the pool."

Operator: "Right...Sorry?"

Caller: "A fella's drowned in the pool."

Operator: "Are they still in the water?"

Caller: "No, we've got them out."

Operator: "You've got them out."

Caller: "There's a party going on and erm...Someone's just gone out and found him. I tell you what mate. The first time I've been out in four f**king years. I have my kids every weekend and..F**king hell. You don't expect it do you?"


Operator: "The ambulance is being turned round now."

Caller: "They're turning round!"

Operator: "If you get somebody out there ready."

Caller: "They're waiting out on the main road mate."

Operator: "Yeah, right."

Caller: "F**king hell. I think the geezer's dead mate."


Barrymore, now 67, and two other men - his ex-lover Jonathan Kenney and dustman Justin Merritt - were arrested and later released without charge, and police say the three have not been "completely eliminated" from inquiries.

Five others were at the party that night - Merritt’s younger sister Kylie, chef James Futers, and locals Simon Shaw, Claire Jones, then 17, and Kelly Campbell.

Det Chief Insp Stephen Jennings told a press conference: “One or more of the eight people at this party are responsible for Stuart’s death.”

Terry Lubbock, Stuart's father, who is supporting the research, said: "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 said: "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."

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