Telly Today: Thursday 6th February highlights.

Michael Barrymore was one of ITV’s biggest stars.

ONE TO WATCH: BARRYMORE – THE BODY IN THE POOL, CHANNEL 4 at 9pm

We’ve all probably hosted parties, we all know we can’t watch every guest every moment of the night and that might just be in a four bedroom semi. Things happen that a host doesn’t always see or hear. Sometimes its people hopping into the bathroom for a quickie or into the kitchen for a smooch. Usually trivial things.

However nineteen years ago ITV personality Michael Barrymore was at the centre of a party night that went very, very wrong. His career ended when it was deemed, by the press, he should have been keeping his eyes on every guest, for every second of the night in his lavish large – well earned – house. He didn’t help matters by panicking and hiding away from the incident; something that saw Barrymore witch hunted in a guilt by running situation.

In the early hours of 31st March 2001, a phone call was made to Essex emergency services to say a body has been found in the swimming pool of Strike it Lucky host Michael Barrymore.

At the time, Barrymore was one of the most popular entertainers in Britain. When paramedics arrived, Stuart Lubbock’s lifeless body was found by the side of Barrymore’s swimming pool. Every detail of the story was pored over by the media. Was it a drug-fuelled orgy? Was Stuart gay? (despite there being women at the party), Did Stuart drown or was there another cause of death? Why did Barrymore flee from his home? Would Barrymore’s career ever recover from the disturbing event?

Now nearly twenty years on, this feature length documentary explores the full story behind one of Britain’s most high-profile unexplained deaths, as told by the people closest to it. A year and a half in the making and with access to never-before-seen material from inside one of Essex Police’s most controversial unsolved cases, this documentary forensically pieces together the perspectives of the Lubbock family, detectives, forensic pathologists and eyewitnesses, to explore what happened that night at Barrymore’s Essex home, and the extraordinary events that followed.

Michael Barrymore’s game shows have seen repeats in recent years and he had planned a TV comeback this year on ITV’s Dancing on Ice, but had to pull out after injury.

Michael Barrymore hosted several programmes for ITV across his career.

MADAM SECRETARY, SKY WITNESS at 10pm

Sadly, we’ve reached the end of Madam Secretary’s term of office as the final series comes to an end in tonight’s tenth episode of the sixth series entitled, Leaving the Station. But it’s getting quite the send off, with a star-studded series finale featuring music icon Peter Frampton and the World Cup-winning US Women’s Soccer team.

The team are on hand to help Elizabeth launch a new landmark political initiative, while Flo Avery, born on the day women were granted the right to vote, looks on.

However, it’s not all plain sailing, as Senator Amy Ross bids to oppose the initiative. Also, the McCord family have to overcome last-minute obstacles to pull off a spectacular family celebration featuring a reunion of some familiar faces.

PLASTIC SURGERY UNDRESSED, BBC ONE at 10.35pm

A poll of 18-30 years-olds, commissioned by the BBC, reveals more than half are considering future cosmetic procedures or surgery. Of those who have already taken the plunge, 29 percent are unhappy with the results. Plastic Surgery Undressed reveals live what happens between the before and after photos.

In this episode – the first of four – four surgery seekers considering liposculpture watch surgeon Amir Nakhdjevani bring back pre-existing patient Dave’s six-pack after a sports injury. Each of the four surgery seekers are accompanied by a friend or family member with their own views about the surgery.

In the studio, Mark wants the body of Captain America and the gym just isn’t working. For Tyler, his significant weight loss isn’t complete without the abs he wants. Vlogger Sarah feels the pressure to always look her best, and Laura’s enhanced lips did wonders for her confidence – so she now wants a quick fix for her tummy. But it’s the appearance of two women with very different experiences of a procedure which brings the risks and rewards to the fore.

The surgery seekers hear from patients who have had both positive and negative experiences, and with experts on hand to answer their questions and companions pushing their position, who will still go for surgery?

THE PHARMACIST, now streaming on NETFLIX

In 1999, after losing his son in a drug-related shooting in New Orleans and lacking answers from police, a small town pharmacist – Dan Schneider – beats the odds when he embarks on a dogged pursuit to find and bring his son’s killer to justice.

But months later, the ripple effects of his son’s addiction and tragic death would find him again when a troubling number of young, seemingly healthy people begin visiting Dan’s pharmacy with high dose prescriptions for OxyContin.

Sensing a crisis long before the opioid epidemic had gained nationwide attention, Dan stakes a mission: Save the lives of other sons and daughters within his community. Then take the fight to Big Pharma itself.

The Pharmacist shows how one man channelled his grief into a crusade that helped bring a reckoning against the powerful figures behind the nation’s devastating opioid epidemic.

SECRETS OF THE MUSEUM, BBC TWO at 8pm

Secrets Of The Museum invites viewers into the hidden world of the Victoria and Albert Museum, going behind the scenes at the world-famous home of art, design and performance. Following the V&A’s specialist teams, Secrets Of The Museum will reveal the tricks of their trade: the painstaking craftsmanship and expertise involved in conserving, cleaning, loaning, acquiring and displaying some of the museum’s two million and more amazing objects.

From Christian Dior gowns to Queen Victoria’s coronet, and from Kylie Minogue’s travelling wardrobe to the logo of the Extinction Rebellion movement, the staff of the V&A handle it all. Told through the day-to-day lives of the V&A’s dedicated and world-class team, the hidden history of each object will be uncovered: from how it was made and why it matters, to the important work of the museum in keeping these stories alive for future generations.

Episode one begins with the charming story of a hand-made children’s toy – Pumpie the elephant. Pumpie was made 100 years ago by the Cattley family in west London. Unfortunately he has suffered major moth damage over the years, and now needs urgent restoration.

CLASSIC TV CHOICE: ROOMS, TALKING PICTURES TV at 2pm

From the vaults of Thames Television Rooms continues. The twice weekly serial followed the ever changing residents of a bedsit. Set at 35 Mafeking Terrace, a large Victorian house converted into separate accommodation was where the dramas unfolded.

Two main characters kept the continuity flowing with landlady Dorothy Lawson played by Sylvia Kay and long term resident Brian Marshall. The scenario of rented accommodation allowed for new characters taking up residence in the rooms, with episodes focusing on various tenants. Cast includes Jill Gascoine, Nigel Havers, Bryan Marshall, Brian Cox, Bernard Hill, Miriam Karlin, Alfie Bass, Lewis Collins, Jan Francis, Tessa Wyatt, Bill Dean and Arthur Brough. The production ran from 1974 through to 1977 with 120 episodes produced.

This afternoon we’re in 1977 with the edition entitled Lonely Hearts. Young Leslie has decided to answer an advert in a lonely hearts column, for better or worse. This episode features Julie Shipley, Jenny Twigge, Ian Redford, Cheryl Branker & Christopher Benjamin.

Talking Pictures TV dig into the Thames Television archive for another episode of Rooms.


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