Barry Norman's Height
6ft ⅛ in (183.2 cm)
English film critic, best remembered for presenting his BBC Film... review show.
There was the occasion at a private dinner in Hollywood when Mel Gibson insisted he was as tall as I was. I disagreed politely on the grounds that I was just over 6ft and he most certainly wasn't.
But then he grew quite angry about it, until some diplomatic soul suggested we should settle the argument by standing back to back. This we did, and I could feel him going up on tiptoe behind me so that the top of his head would reach the same level as mine, whereupon the diplomatic soul pronounced us of equal height and Gibson said: 'See? I told you so'
Photos by PR Photos
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Add a Comment12 comments
Average Guess (6 Votes)
6ft 0.17in (183.3cm)
Rising - 174 cm said on 22/Oct/18
@TallSam: How do you know Mel wasn't drunk at the time? He's been an alcoholic virtually all of his adult life, which isn't surprising since it runs in his family.
Rising - 174 cm said on 21/Oct/18
I don't know when the Gibson/Norman thing is supposed to have occurred. I was thinking not too far apart from the 2002 Parkinson interview because of the similarities and if that's the case, Norman would have been well into his 60's at the very least, but if it was earlier in Mel's career then Norman still could have been at his peak height. Interestingly, another poster mentioned years ago that Barry once challenged Kurt Russell on Kurt's 5'10" claim while interviewing him on his BBC film show.
@Agent Orange: I believe you on that. Norman is supposed to have said Mel was 5'8"-5'9" once as well. I think he's told the story on other occasions before his memoirs. I believe the 5'9" more than 5'8", but no taller without his boots, imo.
Agent Orange said on 21/Oct/18
Greg99 said on 19/Oct/18
I had some communications with Barry Norman a few years back and found him to be very courteous. He did make note of his height in a couple of episodes of his film review shows on the beeb, and for his generation he would definitely have been on the tall side. In the late 70's, early 80's he would regularly interview Clint Eastwood and they didn't seem a mile apart in heights in establishing shots showing the two of them standing side by side.
Tall Sam said on 19/Oct/18
Funny story and it supports that Gibson was always an pretty much an a-hole, alcoholic or not.
Agent Orange said on 19/Oct/18
I met Gibson once at the Radisson in Chicago way back in 2000. He’s not 5’10. Max 5’9. Barry Norman always referred to himself as 6ft so am gonna goes with that...and why not?
said on 18/Oct/18
would this be now or in his younger days, at his age sure he would have lost a couple of inches
I think Barry would have been referring to his peak height, he might have been under it at time he had his Height encounter with Gibson
Rising - 174 cm said on 18/Oct/18
@Paul: You would think, especially since Parkinson had loafers with only a small heel while Mel's dress shoes were normal, but at least an inch thick, possibly that 1.1"-1.2" range and Mel said they were "about" the same height. There are a number of possible reasons for Mel thinking he was close to Norman's height. I'm not making light of Mel being bipolar as I genuinely sympathize with him, but he could have been manic at that point since one symptom is grandiose beliefs. Interesting that Mel said Sigourney Weaver was 6'1" while claiming to be 5'10" himself. I assumed that was overcompensating to support his own 5'10" claim, but Sigourney said she's 5'11" and Mel is 5'9", which I believe to be spot on so it's interesting he suggested they were even farther apart in height than she did, which is the opposite of what he did with Norman and he might not be the best judge of height as you suggest if he really thinks she's 6'1". But if he had his cowboy boots and/or Norman wasn't standing as tall before they compared then Mel might have really thought they were close. If the taller man lowers his eye level and the shorter man raises his, differences can seem smaller and the same is true if they had been standing farther apart before comparing. Mel might have realized he was wrong, but was too proud to admit it by that point.
Paul NS (6ft 0.5) said on 18/Oct/18
Yeah, I've heard about the Parkinson story. That's why I found this one a bit weird since surely he would've noticed that Norman is taller than Parkinson. But maybe I'm overestimating his height guessing ability LOL
Rising - 174 cm said on 17/Oct/18
Mel has always claimed to be 5'10". This has seemed to be his claim since at least 1985-1987. Mel is one of my all-time favorite actors and filmmakers, but one reason I believe this is it's consistent with what he did trying to prove his height with Parkinson back to back. At the same time, I believe Sigourney that Mel was secure with his pretty average height early, but like Cruise, I think the press and others got to him a bit saying he's 5'8", 5'7", 5'6" and even an insane 5'4", especially as his star status grew. I posted a photo of him tip-toeing at an event a while back so it's believable he'd do that. I hate to say it, but the scene Norman describes really sounds like something Glenn would do to proove(sic) he's 5'8".
Sandy Cowell said on 17/Oct/18
What a great addition! I used to watch his movie news programmes and thoroughly enjoy them; yes, I was fascinated by films at an early age. All the kids in my class were, and getting into an 'X' rated film meant you earnt instant respect! The others didn't want to take me in case I spoilt their chances of getting in, but I DID get into a Ken Russell 'X'-rated film starring Roger Daltrey called 'Liztomania' three days after I turned 15, and it was spread round the upper school classes like wildfire! I preferred the term 'X' film; it sounds so much more of a clandestine viewing experience! 😱
Anyway, I was never under the impression that Barry was a short-arse, so 6ft and an eighth sounds highly plausible for him so that's what he gets! 📺🎬
Paul NS (6ft 0.5)
said on 17/Oct/18
His story seems a bit farfetched to me. Has Gibson ever claimed to be taller than 5'10"?
I don't doubt this story is true...I can see Gibson doing this.