A 50-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting and killing Stuart Lubbock at Michael Barrymore’s home.
Mr Lubbock, 31, was found dead in the pool of the TV presenter in Roydon, Essex, in March 2001.
The man was arrested in Cheshire and was being questioned in custody, Essex police said.
Mr Lubbock had been attending an event at the home of Mr Barrymore, 68, along with eight other people.
An autopsy revealed that Mr Lubbock was critically injured before his death, police said.
Alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine were found in his blood.
Det Supt Lucy Morris, Essex Police’s head of major crime, said the arrest was made after “significant new information” came to light following a renewed appeal in February 2020.
“This information has led to us making an arrest and over the coming days we will be contacting all those who were present at the party at the time as well as others who may have information,” she said.
“As we stated last February and have continually stated over the last 20 years, we believe someone or some people at that party know what happened.”
Mr Lubbock, a butcher in Harlow, was described by neighbors at the time of his death as a “nice, friendly” man.
No one has yet been charged with any crime.
Dead Man Lubbock’s Family
Responding to news of Mr Lubbock’s father’s arrest, Terry, said: “There’s so much going on in my head. I can’t get my head around it.
“I’m really happy. This is really good news. But it’s been 20 years. This almost killed me.”
In February, the 76-year-old from Harlow said he had just a few months to live after being diagnosed with chronic cancer.
“All I have ever lived to do is get justice from Stuart,” he said.
‘I Have Nothing To Do With This’
Mr Barrymore and two other men were arrested in 2007 on charges of sexual assault and murder, but were later released without charge.
The television actor, who was known for dramas including Strike It Lucky, has always denied being involved in the death.
Speaking last year, he said: “I have had nothing to do with this whatsoever and yet I keep getting bashed and bullied by the media.”
An investigation into Mr. Lubbock’s death, in 2002, recorded an open decision.
Three years ago, the then-attorney general, Jeremy Wright, refused to let Terry Lubbock make a High Court application for a second inquest.
In 2009, the police watchdog published the findings of a review of the investigation into Mr Lubbock’s death, concluding that officers missed crucial evidence and did not ensure vital forensic tests were completed until six years later.
Last year’s police appeal coincided with the broadcast of a Channel 4 documentary about Mr Lubbock’s death.