Journalist, TV presenter, and film critic Barry Norman has sadly died at the age of 83.
The BBC reports that the long time host of the BBC’s flagship film show ‘Film…’ died in his sleep on Friday night.
His daughters, Samantha and Emma, paid tribute to their “remarkable” father in a statement saying: “He had a great life, a wonderful marriage and an enviable career.”
Norman was best known for hosting the BBC ‘Film…’ show from 1972 to 1998 making him the programme’s longest-running host. He left the BBC for Sky in 1998 with Jonathan Ross taking over as presenter.
He was also a well-respected journalist with stints at the Daily Mail and Guardian, and a radio presenter on Radio 4.
His famous catchphrase “And why not?” gained iconic status through his puppet likeness on hit satirical show ‘Spitting Image’, and it eventually became the name of his 2003 autobiography. He was awarded a CBE in 1998, and in 2007 launched his own range of pickled onions using an old family recipe.
His literary agent, Curtis Brown, described him as “the defining voice of film criticism and insightful interviewing of screen legends from both sides of the camera.”
The online film world has taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the UK’s most beloved film critic, including his ‘Film…’ successor Jonathan Ross, and Mark Kermode who calls him “the master”.
Very sad to hear that Barry Norman has left us. A great critic and a lovely, lovely man.
— Jonathan Ross (@wossy) July 1, 2017
Watching Barry Norman review films was a pleasure, an education, and an inspiration. Wit, knowledge & wry enthusiasm. He was the Master.
— Mark Kermode (@KermodeMovie) July 1, 2017
When I was growing up, Barry Norman WAS film criticism. If anyone else had an opinion, I didn't know about it, and I didn't want to know. https://t.co/DCKzwUVbZ0
— Nicholas Barber (@NicholasLBarber) July 1, 2017
— Matthew Turner (@FilmFan1971) July 1, 2017
RIP the brilliant, kind, witty, insightful Barry Norman. A true legend. Thanks for everything. pic.twitter.com/ytF6f2so3k
— Film 2017 (@BBCFilm2017) July 1, 2017
Very sad to hear about Barry Norman. A great writer, a great film critic, and a lovely man. So long, sir, and thanks for all the jumpers. pic.twitter.com/snWJFFjtfy
— Chris Hewitt (@ChrisHewitt) July 1, 2017
Barry Norman 1933-2017.