MURDER cops will quiz Michael Barrymore amid "significant" developments in their probe into the death of a man at the star's mansion 20 years ago.
Police revealed this morning a 50-year-old is being questioned over the death of Mr Lubbock, 31, who was found unconscious in a pool in March 2001.
And a top officer has now told all others who were at the TV star's house that night – including Mr Barrymore himself – to expect a call soon.
It's understood the star will be spoken to because of his attendance at the party. There is no suggestion he is a suspect or witness.
The presenter, who was one of the most well-known in the UK at the time of Mr Lubbock's death, was seen out with a pal today – but hasn't yet commented on the arrest.
Detective Superintendent Lucy Morris told reporters today: "Over the coming days we will be contacting all those who were at the party at the time.
"We believe someone or some people at that party know what happened.
"It is important to restate the fact that Essex Police have never given up on this case and that the force is motivated by the desire to deliver justice for Mr Lubbock and his family.
"Stuart's rape and murder has been an extremely lengthy and complex investigation which has spanned over 20 years and remains ongoing.
"We have never given up on finding out exactly what happened to Stuart and we will not stop in our pursuit of justice for him and for his family and friends.
"Nine people were at that party – we know that not everyone was responsible for what happened, but someone was."
And in a renewed appeal for further information, she added: "Now is the time to come forward."
And she said the arrest is a big development in a case that has remained a mystery for two decades.
The Sun's decision to double a reward fund for information that leads to a conviction is understood to be one of the reasons behind the step forward – as is Channel 4 documentary Barrymore: The Body In The Pool, which aired last year.
"The man who was arrested in Cheshire continues to be questioned by our detectives," she said.
"The arrest comes after significant new information came to light following our renewed appeal for information and offer of an enhanced reward, which coincided with a major TV documentary broadcast in February 2020.
"This information has led to us making an arrest."
Mr Lubbock, a dad-of-two, died in hospital after he was found unconscious in Mr Barrymore's swimming pool.
A post-mortem examination revealed he had taken a cocktail of drugs at the party including cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamine, and he also had alcohol in his system.
He also suffered severe internal injuries that suggested he was sexually assaulted.
Mr Barrymore and two other men were later arrested, but to date, no one has been charged over the death.
The entertainer, now 67, has continuously denied any wrongdoing.
He sued Essex Police, claiming a wrongful arrest cost him £2.5million in lost earnings, but Court of Appeal judges determined he should get nominal damages.
And Mr Lubbock's father, who is terminally ill with cancer, today spoke of his relief after fighting for answers for two decades – but said: "It's nearly killed me."
Today, he said: "There is just so much going on in my head.
"I can't get my head around it.
"Of course I'm happy. Of course this is good news.
"But it's been 20 years. This has nearly killed me."
He added: “I’ve always said I will continue to fight for justice until my last breath and that’s what I’m doing still.
“I’m extremely ill with cancer, I’ve only got weeks to live.
"But I won’t give up on Stuart until I die.”
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