Film 2014

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Not to be confused with BBC Radio 4's The Film Programme, presented by Francine Stock.
The Film programme
Genre Talk show
Presented by Various
Barry Norman
Jonathan Ross
Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh
(2010 on)
Theme music composer Billy Taylor & Richard Lamb
Opening theme "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free"
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Basil Comely
Running time 40 minutes
Production company(s) BBC Vision
Original channel BBC One
Original airing Since 16 November 1971

The Film programme is a British film review television programme, broadcast weekly on BBC One, presented by Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh. The title of the show changes each year to incorporate the year of broadcast, with the current series being Film 2015, but when referring to successive series, the BBC calls it "the Film programme". The show was previously presented by Barry Norman between 1972 and 1998, and by Jonathan Ross from 1999 to 2010, before receiving a format revamp with the introduction of Claudia Winkleman as host from 2010.


Early years[edit]

The show was first broadcast on 16 November 1971 but it was only aired in the South East area of the UK under the title Film '71.[1] It was then aired in all areas of the UK in 1972. The show was first hosted by several presenters including Joan Bakewell, Frederic Raphael, Iain Johnstone and Barry Norman.[2]

Barry Norman[edit]

Barry Norman became permanent host of the series in 1972.[2] For his first episode on Film 72, his first film review was of The Last Picture Show, while his first studio interviewees were Charlton Heston and James Stewart.[3] For much of his time on the show, "with Barry Norman" was appended to the show's title.[4]

Barry Norman remained as host until 1998, except for a few months in 1982, when he was busy with other projects and Iain Johnstone returned as temporary host. Norman eventually left the show after signing a contract with BSkyB, with his last appearance being at the end of June 1998 hosting Film '98.[5]

With the series now described as the BBC's flagship cinema review, Norman's departure to Sky was said by The Guardian in 2002 to have been "seismic", and due to its nature and timing, his exit was described as being acrimonious. Norman said of the departure, "I honestly believe that if they had said to me, 'We would like you to work out your contract but then we don't want you any more,' they would have given me quite a big send off - at least they would have had a drinks party. But because I left at a time that was not convenient for them I became a non-person. Even on the last day, nobody called up to say, 'Good luck in your future life,' or even 'drop dead'." Of his reviewing style Norman said, "I always knew that nobody's right and nobody's wrong in criticism. The only thing I could do was to make sure that whatever I said was what I really believed."[6]

Jonathan Ross[edit]

Jonathan Ross was chosen as the next host, and presented the show from 1999 until March 2010. Reflecting the change in host, the phrase "with Jonathan Ross" was appended to the show's title, although the show is often still referred to simply as 'Film (year)'.

With Norman having left at age 64, it was reported that the BBC were looking for a younger presenter for the show, and had chosen Ross from a shortlist of test broadcasts which also included Mariella Frostrup and Johnny Vaughan.[7] Ross began presenting the show as Film '99 in March 1999, on a contract reportedly worth £500,000 a year. Ross, described by the BBC as a long time film buff and fan of cult movies, stated that he had dreamt of doing the job since childhood.[8]

To mark the turn of the millennium, the viewers of Film 99 voted in a poll to name their favourite film of the century, with the top 100 published by the BBC and with Star Wars (1977) coming top overall.[9] After the millennium, the show switched from the two digit format to using the full year in the title, i.e. Film 2000, Film 2001...

Film 2008 was briefly removed from the schedules during Ross's 12-week suspension from all BBC activities following the Sachsgate controversy.[10]

Ross presented the Film show for the last time on 17 March 2010.[2][11] This came after Ross announced in January 2010 that he would not be renewing his BBC contract, with his BBC One chat show and BBC Radio 2 show both also finishing in July 2010.[12]

Claudia Winkleman[edit]

In October 2010 Claudia Winkleman took over as host of Film 2010 in a revamped format.[13] This saw the adoption of a live studio format and the introduction of a co-presenter, film journalist Danny Leigh. The first episode of Film 2010 with Claudia Winkleman aired on Wednesday 13 October at 10.45 pm. Regular contributors include the critics Antonia Quirke, Catherine Bray and Robbie Collin.

BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Kermode had been identified as a likely successor to Ross for the show.[2][12] In March 2010 however, Kermode ruled himself out of the job, and instead Claudia Winkleman was announced as a surprise choice for the presenter's role.[14][15]

Damon Wise of Empire feared that Winkleman's appointment represented a rejection of film knowledge as a requirement for a host of the show, and that it might forestall the demise of the series in the same manner as Top of the Pops, as "another flagship BBC show that was allowed to slide out of existence".[16] The Guardian stated, through her recent hosting of Sky Television's coverage of the Oscars, Winkleman had "proved both a passionate and engaging advocate of cinema", while her husband Kris Thykier is a film producer with credits on several mainstream releases.[2] She also presents a weekly arts show on BBC Radio 2 on Friday nights, which covers film. When the programme returned for a new series in November 2012 it began being referred to in the titles as Film 2012 with Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh with Danny now co-host alongside Winkleman.


  1. ^ Barry Norman looks back at 21 years of the film programme (Film '92) Retrieved 16 October 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e MacInnes, Paul (29 March 2010). "Claudia Winkleman named as Jonathan Ross's successor on Film 2010". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Viner, Brian (24 April 2001). "Barry Norman: Films ain't what they used to be". The Independent (London). Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Barry Norman defects to Sky". BBC News. 9 June 1998. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Brooks, Libby (29 August 2002). "So I said to Liz Taylor...". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Jonathan Ross in frame for Film '99". Daily Mail. 12 November 1998. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Jonathan Ross to host BBC film show". BBC News. 22 December 1998. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Film 99 top 100". BBC News. 8 December 1999. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  10. ^ Conlan, Tara (31 October 2008). "BBC to pay cancellation costs on Jonathan Ross shows". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  11. ^ "Episode 10". BBC Programmes, Film 2010 with Jonathan Ross. BBC. n.d. Retrieved 22 July 2010. Jonathan Ross nestles into the presenter's chair for the final time, reviewing new releases including The Bounty Hunter, and providing behind-the-scenes access to major upcoming films including Clash of the Titans. BROADCASTS Wed 17 Mar 2010 23:25 BBC One (except Northern Ireland, Wales) 
  12. ^ a b "Jonathan Ross to quit as TV and radio host with the BBC". BBC News. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "Claudia Winkleman named as presenter of new-look Film 2010" (Press release). BBC. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Kermode not taking over Film 2010". Metro. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  15. ^ "Claudia Winkleman to take over from Jonathan Ross as Film 2010 presenter". Metro. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "Can Claudia Winkleman Save Film 2010?". Empire. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 

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