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Movie critic Barry Norman dies aged 83

Norman hosted BBC One’s show Film… between 1972 and 1998, its longest running host.

Film critic Barry Norman has died at the age of 83, his family has said.

The journalist and former BBC presenter died in his sleep on Friday night.

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 hosted BBC One’s show Film… between 1972 and 1998, its longest running host, and 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.

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.”

Norman, formerly a Radio 4 presenter on the Today programme, quit the BBC in 1998 after 26 years to work for Sky.

He left TV in 2001 and has been awarded a CBE for services to broadcasting.

BBC director-general Tony Hall 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.”

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