Michael Barrymore's online Strike It Lucky revival 'falls flat'

Michael Barrymore’s attempts to revive his long-running 90s game show Strike It Lucky online ‘fall flat as viewers plummet from 5k to just 150’

Michael Barrymore’s attempt to revive his 90s game show Strike It Lucky online has allegedly flopped.

The TV personality, 67, hosted the show for 13 and 209 episodes on ITV between 1986 and 1999. 

And in attempt to attract former fans of the series, he has been playing it on Instagram Live in recent weeks, using the board game version at his home.

Striking out? Michael Barrymore’s attempt to revive his 90s game show Strike It Lucky [later rebranded Strike It Rich] online has allegedly flopped

However, despite initially piquing the interest of 5000 social media followers when he started the broadcasts in April, Barrymore last pulled in just 152, reports The Sun.  

One social media fan wrote: ‘Barrymore was invited on This Morning to play a game of Strike It Lucky on Wednesday.

‘His viewing figures went up to over 300. He’s managed to halve that by Friday.’  

MailOnline has approached reps for Barrymore for comment. 

In its heyday, Strike It Lucky was the fifth most-watched show on UK television.

It was rebranded Michael Barrymore’s Strike It Rich in 1996, but only lasted another three years – on the air for 13 years in total.

Bombed: The TV personality, 67, has been playing it on Instagram Live in recent weeks, using the board game version at his home

Success: He hosted the show for 13 and 209 episodes on ITV between 1986 and 1999

It was cancelled in 1999 and resurrected last year as part of Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow, but with no involvement from Barrymore.

Following the show’s cancellation in 1999, Barrymore courted much controversy just two years later when 31-year-old Stuart ­Lubbock was found dead in the comedian’s swimming pool at a party.

Prior to this he was a British TV mainstay, hosting a plethora of shows – such as My Kind Of People, Kids Do The Funniest Things, sitcom Bob Martin and his long-running entertainment series Barrymore.

But following the incident at his party, his credits were somewhat whittled down, appearing mostly as interview subjects or as himself on the likes of Celebrity Big Brother – on which he was runner-up – and Celebrity Come Dine With Me.

Fizzling out: Despite initially peaking the interest of 5000 social media followers when he started the broadcasts in April, Barrymore last pulled in just 152, according to eagle-eyed fans

In its heyday: Strike It Lucky was the fifth most-watched show on UK television

Reboot: It was cancelled in 1999 – resurrected last year as part of Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow, but with no involvement from Barrymore

Last year he was the subject of a Piers Morgan: Life Stories episode and this year he was part of the Dancing On Ice line-up, forced to pull out due to injury.

Barrymore has used Instagram to connect with his fans in recent times, namely earlier this year when in February he broke his silence for the first time since police urged him to come clean about the mystery surrounding Lubbock’s death ahead of  a new documentary on the matter.

The TV star reached out to supportive fans on social media as Essex Police revealed he was still under suspicion for the death along with seven other party guests.

At a press conference in early February, Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings said he believed at least two of the guests were responsible, given Mr Lubbock’s injuries.

Scandal in the pool: Following the show’s cancellation in 1999, Barrymore courted much controversy just two years later when 31-year-old Stuart ­Lubbock was found dead in the comedian’s swimming pool at a party

Lack of work: Following the incident at his party, his credits were somewhat whittled down, appearing mostly as interview subjects or as himself on the likes of Celebrity Big Brother – on which he was runner-up

To coincide with the Channel 4 documentary that aired a few nights later, police revealed they were offering a £20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Barrymore then liked several Instagram posts, including one describing Channel 4 as ‘parasites’ and another describing the new documentary as ‘ridiculous’.

He replied to one comment, saying ‘Thank you very much x’ to a female fan after she said ‘You’re a legend’.

He liked a comment from Danny Bear, brother of Celebrity Big Brother winner Stephen Bear, who said: ‘Parasites from Channel 4 still dragging up an incident many many years ago that Michael was NOT GUILTY of.

Last year: He was the subject of a Piers Morgan: Life Stories episode in 2019

Bowing out: This year he was part of the Dancing On Ice line-up, forced to pull out due to injury

‘I’m disgusted that a man who entertained many generations including myself and all the Bears continues to make two steps forward and one step back.

‘I want him back on our screens and convinced there are millions who also feel the same.’

Barrymore also liked a comment from Lorraine Emery which said:’Seems ridiculous and distressing to see that this has been brought up all over again. Stay strong Michael, we are all behind you.’

Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings said that given the severity of Lubbock’s injuries it was ‘likely’ more than one person had been complicit.

Haunted: Barrymore has used Instagram to connect with his fans in recent times, namely earlier this year when in February he broke his silence for the first time since police urged him to come clean ahead of a new documentary on the matter [pictured 2017]

Lashing out: Barrymore liked several Instagram posts, including one describing Channel 4 as ‘parasites’

All eight people at the party held at the former TV star’s home remain under suspicion – including Barrymore himself, DCI Jennings added.

The new appeal will focus on the possibility that the murder was ‘covered up’, after a hot tub thermometer and a broken shed handle both went missing from the scene.

Mr Lubbock, who was found floating in the pool, had severe injuries consistent with rape, which officers believe could have been inflicted with either missing object.

The cause of death was never established and an open verdict was recorded after conflicting reports from pathologists. Cocaine, ecstasy and alcohol were found in his system.

Barrymore was arrested on suspicion of rape and serious sexual assault in 2007, along with two other people. No charges were brought due to lack of evidence.

The TV host has always denied any involvement in the death and launched a high court case for £2.4million damages for wrongful arrest. He received a nominal sum after Essex Police won an appeal. 

The timeline of events following Stuart Lubbock’s death

MARCH 31, 2001: Stuart Lubbock is found floating in a pool at Barrymore’s then home in Roydon, Essex.

APRIL 2001: A post-mortem examination concludes the cause of death was drowning. Pathologists tell a hearing in Epping that traces of cocaine, ecstasy and alcohol were found in Mr Lubbock’s system.

JUNE 2001: Barrymore is quizzed a number of times during the course of the criminal investigation and spends a night in police custody in June after being arrested on drugs allegations arising from the inquiry.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2002: The coroner recorded an open verdict on the death Mr Lubbock.

NOVEMBER 2002: Barrymore’s lawyers successfully demanded that Essex Police re-investigate matters surrounding Mr Lubbock’s death.

JANUARY 2006: Barrymore makes a high-profile return to the UK in January 2006 to take part in Celebrity Big Brother.

DECEMBER 2006: Police announce they will reopen the investigation after Barrymore claims there were other witnesses to the events of the night.

JUNE 14, 2007: Barrymore, his ex-partner Jonathan Kenney and Justin Merritt are arrested on suspicion of serious sexual assault and murder.

JULY 31, 2007: It is announced that Barrymore had been re-bailed to appear at an Essex Police station on September 10.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2007: Barrymore answers bail and police are granted a further 12 hours to question him. Barrymore and the two other men are later released without charge.

JULY 2015: It is revealed Barrymore is suing Essex police because his arrest in 2007 ‘damaged his career’.

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