Barrymore attacks tabloids while discussing personal hell

Michael Barrymore said the tabloids "had their hands on my throat and... were trying to choke me." Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Fallen television entertainer Michael Barrymore has revealed he came close to killing himself after being branded a killer after a man was found dead in his swimming pool.

The former Strike It Lucky star said he felt he was slowly murdered by the tabloid press, adding that although it was too late to take action against the articles written about him, he is bringing cases for phone hacking.

Barrymore, whose real name is Michael Parker, said he thinks Rupert Murdoch's News International formed a "conspiracy" against him to destroy his career.

"I'm an alcoholic and ... have had my problems, but I've never murdered anybody," he told The Independent, adding: "Although I have been a couple of times to the jumping-off point, I didn't kill myself. If I had, it would have completed the story."