Barrymore fears hostile reception on trip home

Entertainer Michael Barrymore is terrified he will face angry protests when he returns to Britain this week to appear on Celebrity Big Brother, says the London tabloid the Sun.

The paper reported that the fallen star is insisting on spending as little time in Britain as possible.

Barrymore has been a target for British media attacks since the body of Stuart Lubbock was found floating in the swimming pool at Barrymore's Essex mansion in 2001.

Barrymore, 53, will delay arriving to join the other housemates on the show until the last moment and security at the house will be beefed up, the newspaper said.

"And Channel 4 bosses have agreed he can scuttle back to New Zealand, where he now lives, the moment he is voted off the show."

The Sun quoted a source as saying Barrymore accepted the 150,000 ($380,000) fee to do the show because he needed the cash.

"But he is absolutely terrified of the reception he faces in England and plans to stay in New Zealand until the very last moment.

"And the second he is booted out he plans to get the first jet back."

One Briton who does not want Barrymore back on TV is Stuart Lubbock's father Terry.

"Channel 4 are obviously going to gain ghoulish publicity and viewers on the back of this. But I find the whole thing sick," Mr Lubbock was quoted as telling the News of the World.

Barrymore arrived in New Zealand in 2003 and was granted residency the following year.

He recently appeared on stage in New Zealand in the musical Chicago.

- NZPA

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