Biography: Barry Norman began his journalistic career on the Kensington News and was Show Business Editor of the Daily Mail until 1971. He has contributed over the years to The Guardian as occasional leader writer and Wednesday columnist, to The Observer as sports writer, to The Times as television critic and also as scriptwriter on FLOOK on the Daily Mail.
In 1972 he began his celebrated FILM… series for the BBC, which established him as Britain’s most respected film critic. During 1976 and 1977 he was also a regular contributor to the TONIGHT programme, and the run of FILM… programmes was briefly interrupted in 1982 when he spent a season presenting the arts programme OMNIBUS. He returned to his more familiar FILM ’83 chair the following year.
Barry Norman has written and presented four acclaimed series on THE HOLLYWOOD GREATS IN 1977, 1978, 1979 AND 1983, and a series on THE BRITISH GREATS in 1980. He has also presented a wide range of documentaries for the BBC and ITV. Best-selling books on THE HOLLYWOOD GREATS, FILM GREATS and MOVIE GREATS backed up each television series. In 1989 his ten part BBC series TALKING PICTURES and its accompanying book covered the history of cinema from the advent of sound. Radio work includes presenting TODAY, GOING PLACES, THE NEWS QUIZ, BREAKAWAY, THE CHIP SHOP and FREEWHEELING. In 1988 Barry broke new ground by presenting the Channel 4 coverage of the Seoul Olympics and he followed this up by interviewing six sportsmen and women for a series transmitted on BBC2 entitled TALK OF THE EIGHTIES. In 1996 his sporting interests were catered to by the presentation of a series for Radio Five Live in which Barry interviewed world class sportsmen who have developed new careers – people like Dick Spring, Ireland’s Foreign Minister, and Nicki Lauda.
Barry has also written many novels including TO NICK A GOOD BODY, END PRODUCT, TALES OF THE REDUNDANCE KID, A SERIES OF DEFEATS, STICKY WICKET,THE BIRDDOG TAPES and THE MICKEY MOUSE AFFAIR and DEATH ON SUNSET. Other books include THE GOOD NIGHT IN GUIDE, 100 BEST FILMS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, BARRY NORMAN’S VIDEO GUIDE and THE RADIO TIMES FAMILY VIDEO GUIDE and his memoirs “AND WHY NOT”.
In 1998 Barry was wooed and won by Sky Premiere who recognised the value to them when launching their new movie channels of securing the services of Britain’s best known and most popular film critic. He presented BARRY NORMAN’S FILM NIGHT for the next three years.