The Whickers were established in 2015 to fund and recognise original and innovative documentary. We seek to use the generous legacy of our namesake, pioneering broadcaster Alan Whicker, to support emerging film and audio documentary-makers in the funding and production of director led programmes. The Whickers are comprised of two annual awards: the Film & TV Funding Award and The Podcast Pitch Award. We also run a Bursary Scheme in four regions of the world where funding for documentary is limited for socio-political or economic reasons.
The Whickers were inspired by Alan Whicker to encourage the making of quality documentaries by emerging film and audio talent. Now overseen by his partner and chair of the organisation, Valerie Kleeman, The Whickers recognise that today’s documentary-makers operate in challenging circumstances. 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 Whicker, who felt the best shot of himself was the back of his head, abhorred this trend.
Whicker and his contemporaries wrote the grammar of television documentary. They were given support and opportunities, and often allowed to learn on the job – a situation which is not replicated today. Whicker was apolitical; he sought to intrigue and stimulate, but not to influence. He strived to uncover the unusual as well as to entertain, and he understood the need to engage a mass television audience by employing light and shade in his work. Through The Whickers, we seek to use Alan Whicker’s legacy to further his vision, and to support documentary talent from around the world to take the first step up a ladder which is increasingly difficult to climb.
The Whickers are the main activity of the Whicker’s World Foundation. Please contact us if you have any non-awards related queries, regarding the archive of Alan Whicker or otherwise.
About Alan Whicker
Aged 12 Alan Whicker was given his first typewriter and from then on his course was set.
Born in Cairo to Anne and Charles, a captain in the Hussars, Alan came to England when he was 3 years old. He was educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s school in North London, and became a junior reporter on a local newspaper.
Chair of the Awards Committee
Consultant Artistic Director