Sky lands BBC critic Norman

Vet TV personality leaves after 26 years

LONDON — In a big coup for BSkyB, vet TV film critic and interviewer Barry Norman is leaving the BBC after 26 years to present a new show on the News Corp.-controlled satcaster.

Norman, 64, will join BSkyB in September and will reportedly receive a salary of about $570,000, easily making him the best-paid film presenter in British TV.

Norman is believed to have been frustrated with the BBC scheduling his series, “Film 98,” irregularly in late-nights slots.

“I will look back at my time at the BBC with huge affection, but the opportunities offered by Sky proved too attractive to turn down,” Norman said.

Norman is well known on both sides of the Atlantic within the industry. Someone of his stature could bring a more establishment feel to BSkyB.

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