Michael Barrymore is preparing to make his television comeback after a 12-year hiatus.
The veteran entertainer, who found fame with hit shows including Strike it Lucky and Kids Say the Funniest Things, will return to the small screen after landing a role in drama.
It will be the shamed comedian's first regular gig since his career collapsed in 2001 following the death of Stuart Lubbock, 31, who was found dead in a swimming pool at the star's Essex home.
"I was offered something. It is actually for an acting part. The role will surprise people," the 61-year-old told the Mirror.
He remained tight-lipped about the project, which he described as "dark", but said he felt good about the role.
"When I read the script I was excited and got a good feeling about it." he said. "Acting's my comfort zone.That's what I grew up doing, but comedy took over."
Barrymore was one of the highest-paid TV stars in the UK at the height of his career in the 1980s.
In recent years he has shied away from the limelight, making only brief appearances in shows such as Celebrity Big Brother in 2006.
He is also working on a fly-on-the-wall documentary and his new bespoke clothing line, Made By Dave, inspired by his dog.
At the time the star claimed that he was spending three days a week stacking shelves and shifting sacks of compost at Tomlins garden centre in Brentwood, Essex, to keep busy.
"I don't get paid for it. I help out because I enjoy gardening," the recovering alcoholic told the Mirror.
"People come over and wish me well. Sometimes I walk around with them to show them the plants.
"I stack the shelves and often I'm wheeling around heavy sacks of compost."
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