Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Britain is still a country for and says "Happy Birthday" to an old film critic called Barry Norman

Barry, film critic, writer and media personality, best known as the presenter of BBC TV's 'Film 72' for 26 years until 1998 is 80 years old today.

I followed his programmes as a young man of 23 to a middle aged man of 51. Like many old men today, he educated my sensibilities to the world of movies.

What you possibly didn't know about Barry, that he :

* became increasingly irritated by the BBC's reluctance to screen his programme at a regular time and in 1998, finally accepted an offer to work for BSkyB, where he remained for three years.

* was interviewed in 1977 :

* also wrote and presented a number of documentary series for the BBC, 'Hollywood Greats' from 1977–79 and 1983, 'British Greats' in 1980 and 'Talking Pictures' in 1987.

* was associated with the phrase "and why not?", which originated not as his catchphrase, but as that of his puppet likeness on the satirical show 'Spitting Image' and then adopted the phrase himself and used it is the title of his autobiography.

* admitted that he initially hated the way his puppet looked on the programme, mostly because it had a large inexplicable wart on its forehead, but later moderated his attitude and felt flattered that the series found him famous enough to include him in its sketches.

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