Film critic Barry Norman dies aged 83

Norman hosted BBC One's
Norman hosted BBC One’s “Film…” show between 1972 and 1998 (PA)

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.

Barry Norman in 1987 (News (UK) Ltd/REX/Shutterstock)
Barry Norman in 1987
(News (UK) Ltd/REX/Shutterstock)

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”.

Barry Norman 1933-2017.

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