Film… hosts lead tributes to Barry Norman
The late critic was the longest-serving presenter on the series.
Barry Norman’s Film… successors have led tributes to the critic who has died aged 83.
His family announced that he had passed away in his sleep on Friday night.
Norman presented BBC One review show Film… from 1972 to 1998 and those who followed him in the role offered their respects after hearing the news.
Jonathan Ross, who succeeded him as host from 1999 to 2010, tweeted his sadness.
Very sad to hear that Barry Norman has left us. A great critic and a lovely, lovely man.— Jonathan Ross (@wossy) July 1, 2017
Claudia Winkleman then took on the role from 2010 to 2016.
An incredibly kind man and the greatest critic. X https://t.co/gPQKv5Buya— Claudia Winkleman (@ClaudiaWinkle) July 1, 2017
BBC director-general Tony Hall released a statement about the corporation’s former star.
He said: “Barry Norman was a first class presenter and critic. Film buffs always found his programmes 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.”
Fellow film critic Mark Kermode also offered his condolences.
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
Food critic Jay Rayner took to the piano for a musical tribute as he hammered out the theme tune to Film…
Farewell Barry Norman, with apologies to the great Billy Taylor for mangling I wish I knew how it would feel to be free. pic.twitter.com/SFSB4bb9KK— Jay Rayner (@jayrayner1) July 1, 2017
Stephen Fry reminded fans of Norman’s pickled onion brand.
Sad to hear of Barry Norman’s departure. A film critic and a provider of fine pickled onions. That’s a good life https://t.co/g1fpNIkB0H— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) July 1, 2017
Comedian Leigh Francis, DJ Trevor Nelson, actor Nitin Ganatra and chef James Martin also tweeted tributes.
Sad news about Barry Norman— Leigh Francis (@LeighFrancis) July 1, 2017
Barry Norman was my Tv presenter hero.R.i.p #legend— Trevor Nelson (@DJTrevorNelson) July 1, 2017
What a loss. I used watch Barry Norman religiously. He was the only opinion I ever trusted on a film!! Taught me a lot about movies. https://t.co/iHSmPjdqwM— Nitin Ganatra (@GanatraNitin) July 1, 2017
So sad to hear Barry Norman has passed away. Rest in peace— James Martin (@jamesmartinchef) July 1, 2017
Writers Gyles Brandreth and Tony Parsons, presenters Paul Ross and Lizzie Cundy, and impressionist Rory Bremner were among those paying their respects.
Barry Norman was more than an ace film critic: he was fun to know, warm, witty & wise, with a wonderful way with people as well as words.— Gyles Brandreth (@GylesB1) July 1, 2017
Barry Norman was what a critic should be - you liked him, trusted him and he could get to the Odeon, the Screen, the Everyman - or not. pic.twitter.com/ku2dl1uko0— Tony Parsons (@TonyParsonsUK) July 1, 2017
Very sad to hear about the death of Barry Norman. A great journalist, much-loved father and uncle and true enthusiast for the cinema.— Paul Ross (@paulross) July 1, 2017
So sad to hear of the passing of Barry Norman. One of our greatest film critics ever ,his movie show was legendary .Rest in peace Barry— Lizzie Cundy (@lizziecundy) July 1, 2017
Sad to hear Barry Norman's died.Another favourite of mine (and why not?). Wit, knowledge, love of his subject. Good journalist, lovely man.— Rory Bremner (@rorybremner) July 1, 2017
A statement from Norman’s daughters, Samantha and Emma, described him as “remarkable” and added: “He had a great life, a wonderful marriage and an enviable career.”
Norman also wrote for the Daily Mail and the Guardian newspapers.
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”.
His wife Diana Norman, who wrote a series of best-selling historical thrillers under the name Ariana Franklin, died in 2011 aged 77.
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.”