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Barrymore in court on drug charge

Entertainer Michael Barrymore will appear in court charged with possession of cocaine and being drunk and disorderly following an early-morning car collision.

The 59-year-old was held at 4.30am on November 22 after a Citroen DS3 hit a kerb in Acton, west London.

The TV personality, born Michael Parker, was held after officers on routine patrol discovered the scene at the junction of The Vale and Dordrecht Road.

He will appear at Ealing Magistrates' Court in west London on Wednesday morning.

Once one of Britain's highest-paid small screen stars, Barrymore has had a controversial career.

In the early 1980s, shows such as Strike It Lucky and My Kind Of People attracted up to 13 million viewers and made him one of the best-known faces on TV, with a pay packet to match.

But in 1995 viewers began to see cracks in his smiling facade and realised everything was not "awright" - his catchphrase - when the married presenter announced he was gay.

He split from Cheryl, his manager and wife of 19 years, and his career foundered.

Less than a decade later, in 2004, the former Butlins Red Coat filed for bankruptcy.

More recently, he appeared on TV as a housemate on Celebrity Big Brother. Public reaction to his appearance in 2006 was mixed but he was popular enough with viewers to take second place behind "spoof" celebrity Chantelle Houghton.

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