Michael Barrymore

Michael Barrymore was born in Bermondsey London in 1952, the breeding ground for many famous stars, including Charlie Chaplin, Max Bygraves and Tommy Steele.

Having won the TV show New Faces, Michael’s big break came when he joined Russ Abbot’s Television Madhouse. His own series with Thames Television, The Michael Barrymore Show, soon followed accompanied by his infamous appearances at all the major variety shows.

In 1987 he made the first of his Strike It Lucky shows for Thames Television. It proved so successful that the entertainer went on to make a further nine series.

In 1989, Michael’s versatility put him at the forefront of British Entertainment; he trod the boards playing Wishee Washee with Frank Bruno as the Genie of the Lamp in the pantomime Aladdin at London’s prestigious Dominion Theatre, where bookings went through the roof. The following Christmas, with Michael’s popularity so high, he starred in Cinderella as Buttons at the Bristol Hippodrome and again ticket sales broke all records.

Highlights of Michael’s career have included two Royal Variety Performances and Royal shows in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen. In 1992 he starred in The Children’s Royal Variety Performance attended by Princess Margaret, to universal acclaim.

In 1993 Michael was signed by London Weekend Television who recognised the performer’s huge talent that would, in the next few years, earn him an awesome array of awards and accolades. His top rated series Barrymore won him the title of Top ITV Entertainment Presenter for three years running at the British Comedy Awards from 1993 to 1995. Having now established himself firmly in the public’s affection with his mixture of warmth and spontaneity, Michael went on to collect trophies for the Best Entertainment Show and Best Entertainment Performance at the 1994 Royal Television Society Awards.

Michael went on to win a veritable arsenal of awards in 1995 and scored another triumph with his series My Kind Of People. Travelling the length and breadth of Britain, Michael recruited an even bigger army of fans as he invited them to sing their souls out or dance their legs off completely unrehearsed in London Weekend Television’s first major foray into weekday prime-time television.

Also in that year, at the first ever National Television Awards voted for by viewers, Michael both won the title of Top Entertainment Presenter and also saw Barrymore scoop Best Entertainment Show. At the same ceremony he also notched up Top Game Show for Strike It Lucky (1986).

In the same ground breaking fashion the following year, underscoring Michael’s reputation as Britain’s top male entertainer, he was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal – the top accolade in the variety category – at the New York Festival for an episode of Barrymore. Again Michael was voted by the public as Best Entertainment Presenter at the National Television Awards.

During 1997 Michael recorded a new series of Strike It Rich, followed by the filming of his cameo role in the Spice Girls movie Spiceworld. He also recorded a new series of My Kind Of Music and performed his live Christmas show Barrymore Live for 11 Days at Fairfield Halls which sold out every night and received overwhelming standing ovations. Once again Michael received the National Television Award for Best Entertainment Presenter.

In 1998 he had enormous ratings with his hit series My Kind Of Music and he also recorded a new series of Strike It Rich. Michael won two awards at the Challenge TV Game Show Awards and Best Game Show Host and Most Popular Tv Presenter at the National Television Awards.

Michael toured England, Wales and Scotland during 1998 with his An Evening with Barrymore live show, again his huge popularity was reflected in the instant sell outs and standing ovations. Michael also recorded a new series of My Kind Of Music for 1999.

In 1999 and 2000 Michael made a brand new series called Kids Say The Funniest Things which was an instant ratings success and his first ever drama comedy series Bob Martin, both bringing him more awards for Best Entertainment Show and Best Comedy Performance at the National Television Awards.

Michael went on to sell out his live Laid Back tour across New Zealand and then again returning to a further sell out tour in both Australia and New Zealand receiving standing ovations and sell outs each night for both tours.

In 2004 Michael went on the road again in New Zealand with his sell out Heartland Tour receiving overwhelming standing ovations and positive press reviews.

Michael became a resident of New Zealand in March 2004 but splits his time between London and Auckland.

He continued the year working on various potential television productions and, as he did in the UK on numerous occasions, took the role of Master of Ceremonies for a variety of corporate events, including the Thrive EMA conference, and delivered various after dinner speeches bringing his own unique, versatile and spontaneous humour to each and every event.

Michael was also given the opportunity to try on a journalistic hat in 2004 when he was asked to write his own column for the new Herald on Sunday. This was new territory for Michael and his work was well received.

Michael played the role of lawyer Billy Flynn in the hit stage musical Chicago. A first ever musical performance by the entertainer, Michael won the crowds with co star Tina Cross in a two month tour around the North Island of New Zealand. The show sold to sell out audiences and rave reviews. Michael has done a number of live shows and is constantly in demand for corporate entertainment in New Zealand.

In 2006 Michael joined Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother. The unanimous applause for him as he entered and left the house, showed the huge public support for Michael in England, and he was voted by the public most popular known celebrity in the show.

Since then Michael has appeared as a guest in various televisions shows.

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