Film critic Barry Norman dies

Film critic Barry Norman has died aged 83, his family says.

The journalist and former BBC presenter died in his sleep on Friday night.06002015

A statement from his daughters, Samantha and Emma, called him “remarkable”, adding: “He had a great life, a wonderful marriage and an enviable career.”

Norman hosted BBC One’s “Film…” show between 1972 and 1998 – its longest running host – as well as writing for the Daily Mail and the Guardian.

His literary agent described him as “the defining voice of film criticism and insightful interviewing of screen legends from both sides of the camera”.BARRY NORMAN & FAMILY

Norman’s daughters added: “He leaves behind a family who adore him and a great roster of friends who love him too. We will miss him more than we can say.”

Barry Norman was born in London on 21 August 1933 to film director Leslie Norman and his wife, Elizabeth.

He went to Highgate School in north London, but skipped university, instead beginning his writing career at the Kensington News.

Norman’s journalism took him to South Africa to work on two newspapers, but it was when he came back to the UK that his entertainment career took off – becoming showbiz editor at the Daily Mail.

It was during his Fleet Street years that he met his wife Diana – a journalist and the author of best-selling thrillers under her pen name Ariana Franklin – and they wed in 1957.

The couple had two daughters and were married for more than 50 years, until her death in 2011.

Norman became best known as the presenter of the “Film…” programme, which he hosted on BBC One for 26 years, before he left the channel to move to Sky.

His notoriety was solidified when he became a puppet on Spitting Image, which created a catchphrase for him – “And why not?” – that he later adopted himself and which became the title of his autobiography.

EXCLUSIVE hi-res images can be found on our website



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