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arry Norman was born in London on the 21st of August
1933. His father Leslie was a Producer/Director who was
involved in some iconic British films of the 1950s, in-
cluding `The Cruel Sea' and `Dunkirk'. Despite this, Leslie
Norman recommended his son into Journalism, start-
ing as a cub reporter on the Kensington Times, moving from there
to the Daily Sketch, a national tabloid, and from there to the Daily
Mail, then a broadsheet, where he stayed for 13 years before being
made redundant. After a short spell with the Times, Barry Norman
joined the BBC to present Film 1972. He did this every year for 26
consecutive years until 1998, when he joined Sky for 3 years. He
won a Richard Dimbleby BAFTA award in 1981 and a London Film
Critics Award in 1994. In 1998 he was also honoured with a CBE. His
distinctive style and iconic status were also acknowledged on Spit-
ting Image with a voice impersonation created by Rory Bremner.
The phrase "And why not?" was first created for him in this popular
puppet show and then adopted by Barry Norman himself in real life.
He also wrote 10 novels, as well as film guides, and gave his name
to a brand of pickled onions! He was a Renaissance Man of the 20th
Century and we shall not see his like again.
Britain's most popular Film Critic,
died on the 30th of June, aged 83
by Reg Starkey
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