Controversial comedian Michael Barrymore to make telly comeback as he 'signs up for Dancing On Ice'
16 September 2019, 13:12
Show producers are allegedly lining up the former Strike It Lucky star for the next series as he's labelled 'TV gold'.
Michael Barrymore is reportedly being lined up for the brand new series of Dancing On Ice as he prepares for a TV comeback 17 years after his last major role.
The 80s superstar, 67, has allegedly been hand-picked by producers to take part in next year's show as they believe the once Saturday night favourite is still "TV gold".
ITV hope the former Strike It Lucky host will bring some comedy value to the 2020 talent competition after Michael admitted he hopes to rebuild his career.
A source told The Sun: “Michael has always been TV gold and show chiefs appreciate there’s still a huge amount of interest in him. There’s no doubting he’ll be hilarious on the ice.”
Michael's life was thrown off course when party guest Stuart Lubbock was found dead in his swimming pool following a party at Barrymore's Essex mansion in 2001.
The popular presenter went into hiding before reappearing on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, picking up second place.
He was later interviewed on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories and apologised for Stuart's death but also admitted he tried to take his own life while recovering in rehab.
The London-born comedian and presenter has since said: “I feel it is the right time and place (to return) but it is not for me to decide. I can’t give myself work.”
TV producers believe his comeback could prove hugely popular with the British public and hope he will sign for the twelfth season, airing early next year.
If he decides to get his skates on, he will take part in the revamped version of the show, which now features new judge John Barrowman who took over from Jason Gardiner after he quit earlier this year.
The Scottish-American actor will also join Ashley Banjo and British ice-skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, along with presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.
English ice dancer and Olympic gold medallist Jayne recently spoke about the magic John will bring to the show.
She said: "I think he will bring some fair criticism. He might be quite harsh but I think he will explain it in a fun way.
"I think we will miss Jason and his straight forward comments."
She continued: "We worked with John in the first series and he was actually really quite good.
"Growing up in Canada he had skated a little bit as a youngster. We had real high hopes for him but he went out maybe fourth week or something. Found himself in the skate off and I think he was a bit nervous and he made a big mistake. I think he fell or something. So there was no way the judges could keep him in, so it was a shock he went out so early.
"So it’s nice that he can come back even in a different capacity and be part of the show again."
Despite speculation around Michael's potential signing, ITV are yet to confirm any of next season's contestants.
Dancing On Ice told Metro.co.uk: "Any names linked to Dancing on Ice 2020 are pure speculation. We will be confirming our line-up in due course."