Valerie Kleeman


Valerie Kleeman, Alan’s partner in work and in life, is the Chair of the Awards Committee for the Whicker’s World Foundation. Alan and Valerie met in 1969 and remained inseparable until his death in 2013.


Jane Ray


Jane is the Consultant Artistic Director for the Foundation and a multi-award winning documentary maker and executive producer in radio and television. Her awards range from the Sony Award for best news programme (2002) and the TRIC award for best children’s programme (1993) to China’s Golden Kapok award for best director (2014). Having spent 29 years at the BBC, Jane worked with Alan Whicker in the 1990s and last year got the call to help set up a new documentary foundation funded by his generous legacy. She wrote and directed Radio 4’s archive programme about Alan: Around the World in 80 years, presented by Michael Palin and is immensely proud to have participated in his work for TV and radio.


Jane Mote


Top ranking international TV executive Jane Mote has joined the Whicker’s World Foundation as a consultant. Jane says she was delighted to come aboard because “Whicker’s World opened my eyes to the most amazing stories, people and places. Alan’s unique style and sharp wit was inspirational and I am so excited to be part of creating a Foundation to nurture the future trailblazers for international documentary film-making”

The delight works both ways as Jane Mote is a leading multi-media professional with a keen interest in growing wider audiences for great stories from across the globe. Formerly the UK managing director of Al Gore’s documentary channel Current TV, Jane now combines consultancy work for commercial TV – Turner, BBC Worldwide, Discovery and others – with nurturing new talent in East and West Africa. She previously launched the BBC’s first tri-media newsroom BBC London and more recently created London Live for the London Evening Standard.


Phoebe Hall


Phoebe joined the Whicker’s World Foundation in November 2017 to manage the annual documentary funding awards. She was previously Events and Workshops Manager at One World Media, producing their annual journalism awards and managing their projects for nurturing emerging documentary talent. Prior to this, Phoebe was Programme Editor at the Frontline Club, producing their London events programme and managing the International Partners project – working with media centres and film festivals across Russia, Turkey and Eastern Europe on a year-round programme of documentary screenings, panel discussions, and journalistic training.

She studied French with Film at UCL, spending a year at the Sorbonne in Paris, and outside of her studies helped to develop the British Student Film Festival. She is the co-founder of Puppy Fat, a regular screening evening that spotlights the work of emerging filmmakers.


Curtis Gallant


Curtis Gallant honed his strong analytical skills studying classics at Cambridge and history at UCL. He has always had a keen interest in documentaries and acquiring new knowledge. As such, he was very keen to work for Whicker’s World Foundation as Jane Ray’s researcher and was instrumental in helping to launch the foundation. His passion for trivia has taken him to international quiz tournaments and he even corrected Jeremy Paxman on University Challenge (although that particular question mysteriously failed to make the edit). Curtis is also working as a researcher on Mike Thomson’s forthcoming book Syria’s Secret Library.



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Robert Pyburn


Robert graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2014 with a degree in Journalism Studies. He has written articles for online and print publications in the UK, about everything from Sheffield’s flourishing independent music scene to European public procurement directives. He has also worked in print and broadcast media outlets in Indonesia, where he grew up. Robert spent the last year co-directing a television documentary about a Barcelona-based children’s orchestra and social project, as well as working as freelance videographer, photographer and writer. He now works for Médecins Sans Frontières.

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Megan O’Hara


Megan graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2015 with a degree in English literature and Arabic, and has chased her love of writing and languages all over the world. Her travel writing has been published for website The Culture Trip, where readers can follow her advice on anything from art galleries in Monaco to architecture in Montenegro. From milking goats in rural Bulgaria to filming documentaries in West Bank refugee camps, Megan seeks to emanate Alan Whicker’s intrepid and unapologetically explorative attitude in all of her experiences.


Chris Giles


A graduate in Politics from the University of Bristol, Chris Giles is a widely published journalist who has lived with monks in Nepal, and watched fresh water dolphins on the Mekong River. He has written on politics, social issues and Candy Crush for VICE, where he has worked as a freelance correspondent. An avid watcher of documentaries and believer in their power to convey ideas and stories, it is just possible Chris has seen every single doc on Netflix. Inspired by Alan Whicker’s canny humour and inquisitiveness, Chris looks forward to contributing to the foundation. We are thrilled that Chris has joined the team, especially as he was taken aside and interrogated by the Moroccan border patrol two days before he was due to join us. Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of new media and his own transport, a 30 year old Raleigh push bike.