THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THE FOUNDATION
The Whicker’s World Foundation was created by Alan to encourage the making of quality documentaries.
It is now overseen by his partner Valerie Kleeman who says that Alan was well aware that he had been lucky enough to start working in television at a time when serious journalism was respected and presenters given the freedom to fashion their own programmes.
He and his colleagues were writing the grammar of what was to follow; they were given support and opportunities and often allowed to learn on the job.
He was aware that this scenario is not replicated today; money is scarce and commissioners are reluctant to green light without a celebrity name fronting a subject with which they often have little connection. Alan, who felt the best shot of himself was the back of his head, abhorred this trend.
He was apolitical; he sought to intrigue and stimulate but not to influence. He strived to uncover the unusual as well as entertain, and he understood the need to engage a Saturday night mass audience by employing light and shade in his work. Above all he was a writer and observer who wrote and filmed what he saw.
At the Foundation we seek to use Alan’s legacy to further his vision and to help those with talent to take the first step up a ladder which is increasingly difficult to climb.