The Normans’ family business was a problem early on when the young Barry attended the public school Hurstpierpoint College. The school did not accept the sons of tradespeople, and there was a lengthy debate over whether film editing was a trade. Norman later moved to Highgate School, which had no such qualms.
Perhaps trivial but there are good reasons why I’m not a conservative.
And this isn’t a bad thing to have someone say about you, this last line:
PERSONAL FOOTNOTE: Much as I usually agreed with him, Barry didn’t always get it right. Early in his TV career he reviewed, rather negatively, a film called That’ll Be The Day (starring David Essex) which was my first foray into screenwriting. A big admirer of Film ’73, I was devastated. It was the film’s first review and I was in despair.
His judgment wasn’t shared by other critics, so when asked by a friend what I thought of the reviews, I said: ‘Well, everyone seemed to like it apart from that **** Barry Norman’, using the rudest word I knew.
A few weeks later I was at a party when Barry, whom I’d never met, approached and introduced himself, smiling broadly. ‘Hello, Ray. I’m that **** Barry Norman.’
We both had to laugh, and I drove him to catch his train that night. We would remain good friends whenever we met over the succeeding decades.
Because, he really was a lovely man.