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Journey of a Lifetime [Hardcover]

Alan Whicker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Sept. 2009

The iconic broadcasting legend dusts down his suitcase for a final journey around the globe, revisiting locations of significance to his life and career.

"You might say I'm set in my airways. I'm one of those lucky people whose professional and private lives blend exactly."
Alan Whicker, 2007

This sumptuous book to accompany the major BBC TV series of the same name, is a glorious celebration of 50 years in front of the camera.

For as long as most can remember, Whicker has roamed far and wide in search of the eccentric, the ludicrous and the socially-revealing aspects of everyday life as lived by some of the more colourful of the world's inhabitants.

Since the late 1950s, when the long-running Whicker's World documentary was first screened, he has probed and dissected the often secretive and unobserved worlds of the rich and famous, rooting out the most implausible and sometimes ridiculous characters after gaining admittance to the places where they conduct their leisure hours.

The great man's legacy contains a number of genuine TV firsts. As well as landmark interviews with figures as diverse as Papa Doc, Paul Getty and The Sultan of Brunei, he was a pioneer, covering subjects like plastic surgery, gay weddings, polygamy, swinging and following gun-toting cops, fly-on-the-wall style, for British screens long before anyone else.

This wonderful new book is the end product of a very personal journey. Whicker retraces his steps, catching up with some past interviewees and reflecting on how the world has changed - for good and bad - over the passing of time. Journey of a Lifetime is lyrical, uplifting and peppered with our favourite globetrotter's brand of subtle satire.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (3 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000729249X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007292493
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 645,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Not only is Alan Whicker a friend of mine, he's my hero."
Sir Michael Parkinson

About the Author

Born in Cairo in 1925, Alan Whicker attended Haberdashers' Aske's School, London, before serving as captain in the British Army during World War II and then as a director with the Army Film and Photo Section. His long and extremely distinguished career includes positions as a newspaper war correspondent in Korea, foreign correspondent, novelist, writer, radio broadcaster and host of the landmark show Whicker's World between 1959 and 1993. He has worked for the BBC and ITV, has been broadcast by Channel 4 and has been a producer and host for numerous television specials and documentaries. In 2005 he was awarded a CBE.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a journey 15 Oct. 2009
Have just finished reading. Was not sure what i expected having watched all Whickers TV shows. I must say it was really good. I read most of it last thing at night, now this was brilliant as i fell to sleep with far away places to dream about. I think Whickers discriptions are spot on with regards to the people he meets as well as the places he visits. I think the title sums the book up well "Journey of a lifetime" I have just got into the biog books having just read both of Mike Pannetts books. At last i have found some books which I won't sling out and that I can read again. 3 great books if you're stuck for ideas.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FABULOUS READ 16 Oct. 2009
This book is a fantastic read and provides a fascinating in-sight into Alan Whicker's remarkable life. This is a must for anyone. The stories, anecdotes and people he has encounterted make this a truly brilliant book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Repeats 4 April 2013
This is a kind of best-of and warmed-up Whicker, full of stuff he's written about before, together with some updates on his most famous stories, and some uncharacteristically dull anecdotes of the 'my great friend X the successful Y and his beautiful wife' type. He returns to Palm Beach to find that the Russians have moved in. He describes again the interviews with Getty and the Sultan of Brunei. He reflects on some of the social phenomena that he first reported on in the 60s and 70s, such as plastic surgery and spas, that have now gone mainstream. He retells again the Papa Doc story. He visits some unusual locations - Norfolk Island, Nauru and Three Hummock Island (near Tasmania) - and makes them sound fascinating enough to look up later on Google Earth and wikipedia. You learn very little about Whicker himself except that he wants to be considered as bon-vivant, courageous and gentlemanly, and there's a consciously retro 70s feel in the yacht- champagne- Bentley- sunshine- emphasis. On the downside, I thought I detected a certain new and unappealing smugness and reactionariness, and the book does feel lazily written, with a lot of cliches, a few typos and a few below-par short chapters that felt like fill-ins. So it's maybe mostly OK for fans and completists, or as a quick intro to what this inimitable reporter has been doing over the last 60 years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRUE JOY TO READ 21 Nov. 2010
This book gives you an insight to the many adventures the writer has been involved in, the many famous and infamous people he has met along the way. Alan Whicker started the travel bug for many people, even before Judith Chalmers, no stone was left unturned by Alan Whicker,who let the viewer see the good and bad things of the country he was visiting, His T.V. series were a must for millions of viewers, make this book one for your reading list.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Memoirs- Good Book 3 Aug. 2013
By Dickens
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Alan Whicker, reminds me of David Niven, in life demonstrating a character that is urbane, charming, witty and intelligent. His stories ooze humour, pathos and great interest. As a child, watching him on TV, I failed to appreciate how skilled a journalist he was, because he made it look effortless -probably the real skill. This book,written around 1997 is an excellent read. A mix of stories and characters it will hold you enthralled. The real character in the book, however, is the author himself, what an era, what a life, what a man. His like will never be seen again. Enjoy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good easy read 28 Aug. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I took this book on holiday with me and found it a very easy read. Bringing back memories for me of the tv programmes many years ago. A book as good as the tv programmes!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars whickers best bits 4 Jan. 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
alans best of the last few trips around the globe, entertainment of the travel sort you just don't get from anyone else, the master at his best, highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The voice in my ear 15 Oct. 2010
By Viv
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading Alan Wicker's book is like having his voice in your ear. His book is well written, good photographs and he manages to get into the corners of his people-meets. He sets the scene and what is happening trying to get his programme made - the interesting tit bits like running out of film just as he is invited to meet Papa Doc and so has to have snap shots do the business.
What a lucky man to have had a job which is exciting, meeting some great and bad people and getting paid for it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring.
Not the best read boring.
Published 12 months ago by Jason
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good read
Published 12 months ago by gordon heyes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting and descriptive
Published 12 months ago by Mr J G Morgan
4.0 out of 5 stars journey of a life time
Cannot comment on this as I purchased it as a present. Not a book I would read. I ordered this ages ago and cant even remember who I gave it too.
Published 19 months ago by Derek Peter Rush
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
A snapshot of a brilliant life, journalist, correspondent, and Bon vivier. Each and every chapter very entertaining. There'll never be another!
Published 22 months ago by Richard Kemm
4.0 out of 5 stars short stories form the master
Enjoyable summaries selected from the famous Whickers World TV archive, entertaining and honest assessments throughout. Whicker was a natural relaxed communicator. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Geoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
What a man! Every-thing about him is so professional. His writing and every-thing he has done was and is spell-binding.
Published on 1 Sept. 2013 by janet gifford wills
5.0 out of 5 stars book review
Very interesting book. Reminded me of the marvellous Whickers World. It was good to read about the people he interviewed and what had happened to them. Read more
Published on 23 July 2012 by snurt
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Whicker - Journey of a Lifetime
This is the BEST Audio book & Autobigraphy I have ever Read, I would thoroughly recommend this to everyone, an excellent purchase.
Published on 2 Jan. 2012 by C64Pete
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