Barry Norman, legendary Radio Times film critic, has died aged 83.
The influential journalist made his name as the host of the BBC’s film programme from 1972, and became a defining voice for British film, eventually leaving the programme in 1998.
Norman continued to write a weekly column for Radio Times magazine, celebrating all things film in the cinema and on the small screen.
A statement from his daughters Samantha and Emma confirmed the news: “He had a great life, a wonderful marriage and an enviable career.”
Radio Times film editor Andrew Collins paid tribute to his friend and “one of his childhood heroes”.
“One of the great personal pleasures for me when I joined Radio Times in 1999 was the chance to meet – and subsequently work alongside – one of my childhood heroes,” he said.
“I avidly watched his BBC Film programme as a teenage film fan, and it was Barry’s witty, urbane, knowledgable style that made me want to review films – I wouldn’t have dreamed I could do it for a living, but aged 16, I started writing reviews in my diary. In my 1981 diary, I named Barry as my Person of the Year.”
It always be apt to remember that I was in a cinema when I first heard the sad news that my colleague and hero Barry Norman had died. RIP— Andrew Collins (@AndrewCollins) July 1, 2017
So sad! I remember rushing to buy my Radio Times at Christmas to read his film review! Another great has left us.— Julie Humes (@juliehumes91) July 1, 2017
His colleagues, including BBC film critic Mark Kermode and presenter Jonathan Ross, also paid tribute.
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
Very sad to hear that Barry Norman has left us. A great critic and a lovely, lovely man.— Jonathan Ross (@wossy) July 1, 2017