The broadcaster and journalist Alan Whicker has sadly passed away aged 87 from bronchial pneumonia, The BBC reports. Whicker, whose career spanned almost six glorious decades, died early on Friday morning (July, 12).

Alan WhickerAlan Whicker's vibrant personality exemplified by a tie

He was best known for his long-running documentary series, Whicker's World – a show that ran on both The BBC and ITV (a rarity) and aired from 1959 to 1988. It saw Whicker interviews all sorts of colourful characters, giving the viewers at home an invaluable insight into other cultures at a time when travel wasn’t as readily available as it is now. He can be attributed with widening the horizons the of many that fell within his demographic.

Valerie Kleeman - Whicker's partner of more than 40 years - said she was "lucky to have shared" his life. "A few years ago a poll asked who was the most envied man in the country - and Alan won by a country mile!," she said. "He said that he didn't know where work ended and private life began. Quoting Noel Coward, he would say 'work is more fun than fun'.

Alan WhickerAlan Whicker was a popular figure at the BBC

Credited with introducing new techniques to the genre of interview genre - walking to camera and cutaways to television - Whicker was made a CBE in 2005. "On this last journey he will arrive curious, fascinated, and ready for a new adventure,” added Kleeman. The tributes have rolled in since his death, with Stephen Fry tweeting: “Sad news about Alan Whicker. And I've only just heard that the playwright Snoo Wilson has died too. He was a wonderful man.”