13 Jul 2013

Broadcaster Alan Whicker dead

6:33 am on 13 July 2013

British journalist and broadcaster Alan Whicker has died after contracting pneumonia.

Whicker, 87, had a TV career that stretched nearly six decades. He was best known for a long-running documentary series, Whicker's World.

The show, which ran from 1959 - 1988, on both the BBC and ITV, saw him travel all over the world.

Reporting on the unusual and bizarre, Whicker interviewed all types of people from millionaires and monks to gangsters and dictators.

He once said he counted himself one of the luckiest men in the world because he enjoyed his work so much.

The series even inspired a famous Monty Python sketch about Whicker Island, a mythical place populated by Alan look-alikes awaiting an "inevitable interview".

A captain in the British Army during World War II, Whicker later became a war correspondent, covering the Korean War. He joined the BBC in 1957, where he became a correspondent for Tonight, a current affairs show.

He won a BAFTA personality award in 1965 and the Richard Dimbleby award in 1978.

The BBC reports he retired from full-time broadcasting in 1998, but returned to the spotlight 10 years ago in a series of adverts for a travel company.

In 2009, he revisited some of the people and places he had filmed over the decades for a BBC series Alan Whicker's Journey of a Lifetime.