Film critic Barry Norman dies aged 83

The BBC film critic Barry Norman has died at the age of 83. The journalist and former BBC presenter died in his sleep on Friday night.

Norman hosted the BBC’s film show between 1972 and 1998 and was its longest-running host. He also wrote for the Daily Mail and The Guardian newspapers.

In 1998 he moved to Sky television, where he remained for three years.

The much-respected film critic also presented a number of documentary series for the BBC, including Hollywood Greats, British Greats, and Talking Pictures.

He also hosted Channel 4’s Seoul Olympics coverage in 1988.

His literary agent Curtis Brown said he was “the defining voice of film criticism and insightful interviewing of screen legends from both sides of the camera.”

Norman’s wife Diana Norman, who wrote a series of best-selling historical thrillers under the name Ariana Franklin, died in 2011 aged 77.

The couple met while working as journalists and married in 1957.

Norman said at the time: “I was working as a gossip writer on the Daily Sketch for my sins, which was the only job I could get, and she was working as a very highly respected writer on the Daily Herald, as it was then.
“We met in Fleet Street and married.”

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

Norman had been writing a book about cricket over the last few months.

During his career he had a number of run-ins with some famous actors which were in his book What is Not a Tall Story, Norman recalled how Gibson (5′ 9¾” according to IMDB), debated with the 6ft plus Norman over who was the taller.

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