Michael Barrymore seeks £2.5m damages from police over Stuart Lubbock arrest but is offered just £1

Former game show presenter Michael Barrymore is seeking £2.5 million in damages from Essex police after his arrest following the discovery of a body in his swimming pool.

But senior officers have offered a nominal sum of £1, a preliminary court hearing in London heard on Wednesday.

Barrymore, 64, has taken legal action against the force after being held and questioned in relation to the death of 31-year-old Stuart Lubbock, who was found dead in his pool at Barrymore's home in Roydon, Essex in March, 2001.

The judge, Master Roger Eastman, heard that Barrymore had been arrested on suspicion of murder with two other men six years after Mr Lubbock's body was found, in June 2007.

The case against them was dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Barrymore had never been charged with any offence as a result of his arrest.

A coroner recorded an open verdict into Stuart Lubbock's death.

Barrymore, who has taken legal action under his real surname, Parker, said the arrest and subsequent publicity had a "devastating" effect on his career.

He lost his lucrative television contract in 2002, after a coroner recorded an open verdict into Mr Lubbock's death.

Master Eastman was told that Barrymore was claiming £2.5 million damages, mainly to compensate him for loss of earnings.

Police argued that he should get a "nominal" award of £1.

Lawyers have said a judge will be asked to decide whether there had been ''reasonable grounds'' for Barrymore's arrest.

Master Eastman indicated that a more senior judge would make decisions, and said a trial would be listed for a date in summer 2017.

Barrymore, who was not at the hearing, now lives in New Zealand.