Dim all the lights from London to Panama City, because the legend of celebrity interviews, Alan Whicker, has died today at the age of 84. Alan had been suffering with bronchial pneumonia for some time. Valerie Kleeman his partner since 1969 was at his bedside when Alan embarked on his last and final journey.
Long before the internet was born and Opportunity Knocks was the only talent show in town, Alan Whicker launched Whickers World. The program lasted from 1959 until 1990 and saw Alan globe trotting the world interviewing rich, famous and infamous people in their natural habitats. Alan was like David Attenborough, only for humans. During the 30 years that Whickers world graced our televisions Alan interviewed everybody from the beautiful Joan Collins to the nasty-assed president of Haiti, Papa Doc Duvalier.
Alan was made a CBE in 2005 and won a BAFTA in 1964 and another one in 1977. He helped create Yorkshire television, he made your Barclaycard seem like your best friend and was the man behind the “Hello World” advertising slogan for for travelocity.co.uk.
I know that Alan Whicker was a highly respected and seriously accomplished journalist, but since I’m trash, my first thought after hearing this sad news was to wonder if they paid him expenses for his trip up to heaven.
Rest in Peace, Alan Whicker.