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John Barry & the Belfast film maker

Marie-Louise Muir | 18:22 UK time, Monday, 31 January 2011

On the day that the media paid tribute to the late John Barry, I spent time talking, not so much about Bond film music, but about his Irish roots. His father was from Cork and Barry's love of Ireland was maybe why, when the BBC approached him about making a programme on him, he went with a Belfast based tv producer. Clare Delargy made, what I believe, is the definitive documentary on Barry.

Back in 1999 she made initial contact with him for the BBC arts strand "Omnibus". Over 9 months in 2000 she met up with him, filming him in his Long Island home; she met him in York, England where he grew up; and she brought him back to Ireland, to the breathtakingly beautiful Glendalough. 

Listen to her moving and passionate tribute to the man she met on Arts Extra. If the BBC ever has a John Barry night they have to re-run this quite wonderful tv programme.

Thanks Clare. She was the only person throughout the whole day of obits to him who actually said "I pass on my condolences to his family". You know she knew how privileged she had been. And John Barry was very lucky to have had Clare making this film.


  • Comment number 1.

    I remember the Omnibus programme well, particularly as I gave Clare and her team a little help with photos of John, etc.. It was a wonderful programme and I wish the BBC would repeat it. Maybe now would be a suitable occasion, as a tribute?

    RIP, John.

  • Comment number 2.

    I saw the programme in Holland on BBC and as the webmaster of John Barry's unofficial website johnbarry.org.uk, we have been inundated with visitors asking about a possible repeat of the Omnibus programme!

  • Comment number 3.

    Clare Delargy's wonderful Omnibus documentary about John Barry would be a fitting tribute to a great composer. Hopefully the BBC will repeat it in the near future.

  • Comment number 4.

    I heard about htis programme being aired in the UK and couldn't wait for it to be screened in New Zealand, where I live. I felt so privileged in being able to see into John Barry's personal life and how his experiences shaped him to compose the most beautiful music ever produced.

    It would be a shame not to have this repeated as a tribute to one of the most famous son's of the United Kingdom. One of the greats!


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