Philip French, who died in 2015, was a film critic with a 50-year relationship with the Observer newspaper. It is estimated that during that time he sat through some 14,000 films.
For much of his career as a critic, French was also a producer for BBC Radio, and managed to remain impartial when switching between the two. As well as writing several books about film he was also the author of critical studies of Edmund Wilson, F.R. Leavis and Lionel Trilling. French, who suffered from a life-long stammer, was fascinated by linguistics and had a fondness for clever puns, which often appeared in his writings, an example being: ‘I don’t know much about philately, but I know what I lick.’ In 2013, he was awarded an OBE for his criticism.