Former BBC Presenter, Journalist and Film Critic Barry Norman Dies

In His Sleep

Barry Norman, the longest running host of BBC One’s “Film . . .” show, passed away in his sleep Friday evening at the age of 83.

Norman’s work in journalism initially took him to South Africa, but when he returned to the United Kingdom he became the showbiz editor at the Daily Mail, and his career in entertainment began.

Aside from interviewing film stars, Norman wrote documentaries, columns for the Guardian and the Radio Times, presented on the Today program, and was the very first host of BBC’s “The News Quiz” on Radio 4.

Norman’s two daughters, Samantha and Emma, stated: “He leaves behind a family who afore him and a great roster of friends who love him too. We will miss him more than we can say. He had a great life, a wonderful marriage and an enviable career.”

His wife Diana, to whom he was married for over 50 years, was also a journalist and a best-selling author under pen name “Ariana Franklin”. Diana passed away in 2011.

A flood of tributes celebrating Norman’s life and career

BBC director Tony Hall described Norman as being a “first class presenter and critic”, and stated: “Film buffs always found his programs essential viewing. He dominated broadcasting about films for a generation with wit and great knowledge. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Stephen Fry, actor and presenter, wrote in a tweet: “Sad to hear of Barry Norman’s departure. A film critic and a provider of fine pickled onions. That’s a good life.”

John Ross, who took over the BBC Show “Film . . .” after Norman, tweeted: “Very sad to hear that Barry Norman has left us. A great critic and a lovely, lovely man.”