Datchworth's much-loved film critic Barry Norman dies,

PUBLISHED: 11:37 03 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:37 03 July 2017

Barry Norman.

Barry Norman.

Archant

Barry Norman, Britain's most famous film critic, has died at 83, after many years of living in Datchworth.

The veteran critic, who presented a regular film programme for the BBC from 1972 to 1988, died in his sleep on Friday night.

Barry Norman was the son of Leslie Norman, a successful director whose films included The Long and the Short and The Tall, and who lived in Knebworth.

He worked as a journalist for some years in South Africa, before returning to Britain and writing for papers such as The Daily Sketch, The Guardian, and The Daily Mail.

He lived in Datchworth with his wife Diana after his marriage in 1957, but she died in 2011.

He became an increasingly familiar face on television in the 1980s, inspiring numerous impersonators, a Spitting image puppet, and even a popular catchphrase - “And why not?”

Barry Norman named The Cruel Sea (1953), Chariots of Fire (1981), and Skyfall (2012) as among his favourite British films.

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