Film critic Barry Norman dies

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Barry Norman

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Barry Norman hosted “Film…” on the BBC between 1972 and 1998.

Film critic Barry Norman has died aged 83, his family says.

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

A statement from his daughters, Samantha and Emma, called him “remarkable”, adding: “He had a great life, a wonderful marriage and an enviable career.”

Norman hosted BBC One’s “Film…” show between 1972 and 1998 – its longest running host – as well as writing for the Daily Mail and the Guardian.

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”.

Norman’s daughters added: “He leaves behind a family who adore him and a great roster of friends who love him too. We will miss him more than we can say.”

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Norman wrote for the Daily Mail and the Guardian before becoming a household name on the BBC

Tributes have begun flooding in on Twitter, with plenty of references to Norman’s pickled onions – a family recipe handed down from his grandmother that he launched as a range in supermarkets in 2007.

Actor and presenter Stephen Fry tweeted a tribute, writing: “Sad to hear of Barry Norman’s departure. A film critic and a provider of fine pickled onions. That’s a good life.”

Presenter Jonathan Ross, who took over “Film…” in 1999, added to the tributes. He tweeted: “Very sad to hear that Barry Norman has left us. A great critic and a lovely, lovely man.”

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Norman, pictured with his wife and two daughters, was made a CBE in 1998

Norman, who had also been a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, left the BBC in 1998 after 26 years to work for Sky.

BBC director general Tony Hall described Norman as a “first-class presenter and critic”.

He added: “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.”

Comedian Robin Ince also tweeted: “Barry Norman – the creased but alluring portal to Hollywood greats and a lifetime of film fascination.”

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