Cheryl Barrymore

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Cheryl Barrymore
Born Cheryl Carlisa Cocklin
(1950-03-22)22 March 1950[1]
London, England, UK[1]
Died 1 April 2005(2005-04-01) (aged 55)
St John's Wood, London, England, UK
Cause of death Lung cancer
Nationality British
Occupation Dancer, talent manager
Years active 1976–2005
Spouse(s) Michael Barrymore
(m. 1976–1997, divorced)

Cheryl Barrymore (born Cheryl Carlisa Cocklin,[2] 22 March 1950 – 1 April 2005) was an English dancer and talent manager, most famous as the ex-wife of Michael Barrymore.


A trained dancer she took work in the publicity department of EMI records between shows, where she met young PR man and lifelong friend Max Clifford. After her first marriage to Greg Smith failed, Cheryl took part in several West End theatre shows; during one of which she met entertainer Michael Barrymore in 1974.[3] They married two years later.

Wife and manager[edit]

Cheryl and Michael married in 1976[4] although not until after Barrymore had paid off his mother who threatened to reveal a previous 18-month-long gay love affair.[5] She later claimed, without contradiction from her estranged husband, that they had had a "full" marriage, including connubial relations. With Cheryl as his manager and the mastermind behind Barrymore's meteoric rise, he won a 1979 edition of New Faces. He later became a panelist on Blankety Blank and the warm-up man for Larry Grayson on the Generation Game.[2]

From there Barrymore rose to fame presenting ITV1 entertainment show Strike It Lucky from 1986, followed by Kids Say the Funniest Things and My Kind of Music. Barrymore was voted the UK's favourite TV star several times, and became one of the highest-paid stars on TV.[6] She later revealed that Barrymore had problems with alcohol and depression. As a result of her husband's physical assault on her at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, California, she was placed by British police on the "at risk" register.[5]

Split with Barrymore[edit]

At the height of his popularity, Michael Barrymore suffered increasing alcohol problems. He claimed that he had wanted to seek help, but that his wife told him: "No, you’re not (alcoholic). Don’t be stupid."[7]

In November 1995, Barrymore attended the National Television Awards, where clearly drunk he made a rambling, incoherent speech. At an after-show party on a live late night radio show, he publicly declared he was gay and "no longer wanted to live a lie", following which he and Cheryl split up. She later claimed that Barrymore took the step and didn't tell her because of his talks with Princess Diana.[8]

After several aborted reunions, they later divorced in 1997 and Cheryl went on to publish the autobiography[9] "Catch a Falling Star", which contained details of their acrimonious split. The couple became estranged, and she ceased acting on her husband's behalf as either agent or manager.

After Barrymore[edit]

Cheryl went on to manage other artists, including Rebecca Loos and Ex-EastEnder Danniella Westbrook, the latter of whom she urged to get help for her drug addiction, ultimately leading to Daniella becoming clean of drugs in 2001. When her ex-husband was tried for the murder of meat factory worker Stuart Lubbock, Cheryl provided to the Lubbock family lawyer both an affidavit and subsequent court testimony that her ex-husband had lied under oath, and could actually swim. She also alleged the entertainer had rubbed cocaine on to the gums of other people as well as himself.[10]

Barrymore later wrote in his 2006 autobiography, Awight Now: Setting the Record Straight, that Cheryl was a control freak who controlled his every movement including his clothes,[3] and she had created the character that was "Michael Barrymore", which also resultantly drove him to alcohol, drugs and gay affairs.[11]


After her split with Barrymore, Cheryl's health suffered. In 2003 she suffered a burst ulcer, and in late 2004 she was investigated for Chronic fatigue syndrome, when she complained of feeling unwell.[12] On 1 April 2005, she died, aged 55, at St John and St Elizabeth Hospital in St John's Wood, having been diagnosed with lung cancer six weeks earlier. [13]


  1. ^ a b Births and Deaths England and Wales 1837–2006
  2. ^ a b Aw wight now?,; accessed 6 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b My kind of autobiography,; accessed 6 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Michael Barrymore's troubled life",; accessed 6 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b "I feared Barrymore would kill me",; accessed 6 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Barrymore's ex to publish memoirs",; accessed 6 September 2015.
  7. ^ Alcoholics Anonymous Reviews: Cheryl stopped drink help,; accessed 6 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Diana friendship may have helped Barrymore's downfall, says wife Cheryl",; accessed 6 September 2015.
  9. ^ CHERYL BARRYMORE STORY (2002),; accessed 6 September 2015.
  10. ^ Profile,; accessed 6 September 2015.
  11. ^ Awight Now: Setting the Record Straight excerpt,; accessed 6 September 2015.
  12. ^ Cheryl: The final revenge,; accessed 6 September 2015.
  13. ^ Barrymore ex-wife dies of cancer,; accessed 6 September 2015.

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