Christopher Wenner
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Christopher Wenner

Max Christopher Wenner
2019-11-22 Christopher Wenner 3.jpg
Christopher Wenner in 2019.
Max Christopher Wenner

(1954-12-06) 6 December 1954 (age 65)
Other namesMax Stahl[1]
EducationStonyhurst College, Lancashire
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford
OccupationTelevision presenter
War correspondent
Known forBlue Peter
Channel 4 News (ITN)
(international war coverage)
Parent(s)Michael Alfred Wenner (b. 1921, Macclesfield, Cheshire) and Gunnilla Ståhle (1931-1986, Sweden)

Christopher Wenner, now better known as Max Stahl[2] (born 6 December 1954), is a British journalist and former television presenter.

Early life

Wenner is the third of four sons of Michael Alfred Wenner (born in 1921), an author, company director, former British diplomat and Ambassador to El Salvador (from 1967-1971), and Gunnilla Ståhle (1931-1986), of Sweden.[3]


Wenner was educated at Stonyhurst College,[4] a boarding independent school near Clitheroe in Lancashire, which he left in 1973,[4] followed by Balliol College at the University of Oxford, where he acted in the Dramatic Society.[5]

Life and career

On 14 September 1978, Wenner joined the British children's television programme Blue Peter. However, he left on 23 June 1980 (on the same day as his co-presenter Tina Heath), after the production team decided not to renew his contract as he was "deeply unpopular with the viewers."[6] He returned to acting, taking a part in the 1984 Doctor Who adventure The Awakening, although in the final cut, his role was reduced to that of a non-speaking character. He then focused on journalism.

In 1985, whilst working as a war correspondent in Beirut, he went missing; he turned up again, safe and well, after 18 days. In 1991, he shot footage of a demonstration in Dili, East Timor, preceding a massacre and during the massacre itself. He filmed inside the Santa Cruz cemetery among the dead and the dying, as soldiers advanced in a well-organised operation against a huge crowd of East Timorese engaged in peaceful protest. It was Wenner's footage that brought the plight of the East Timorese to world attention. In 1992 his work was awarded the Amnesty International UK Media Award for Yorkshire Television's First Tuesday episode "Cold Blood - the Massacre of East Timor".[7][8][9]

In 1999 Wenner returned to East Timor under the name "Max Stahl". For his coverage, he won the 2000 Rory Peck Award for Hard News. His audio visual material on East Timor's struggle for independence has been listed in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register as "On the birth of a nation: turning points" in the year 2013.[10]

Wenner was one of the first Western journalists to recognize the scope of tensions in Chechnya. He travelled there with cameraman, filmmaker and author Peter Vronsky in 1992 to report on the break-away republic and nuclear weapons materials smuggling for the Canadian produced television special The Hunt for Red Mercury.

In 1998, whilst working as an ITN journalist for Channel 4, Wenner was beaten by Serb civilians during a mass protest. He returned to Blue Peter in 1983 and 1998 to celebrate the show's birthdays.

Personal life

Wenner is a father of four, and runs his own production company, and continues his career in journalism. In April 2012, it was reported that he had been receiving treatment for throat cancer.


  1. ^ Sylvia Lawson (1 August 2012). Demanding the Impossible. Melbourne Univ. Publishing. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-522-85485-5. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ Paul R. Bartrop; Steven Leonard Jacobs (17 December 2014). Modern Genocide: The Definitive Resource and Document Collection [4 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781610693646. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ "Michael Alfred Wenner (information about Christopher Wenner near the end of the page)". National Portrait Gallery, London. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Stonyhurst Association News - Newsletter 306 - July 2013 - The Roar of the Greasepaint (page 15)" (PDF). Stonyhurst College, Lancashire. July 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "Christopher Wenner". Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ Marson, Richard. "Blue Peter" 50th Anniversary Book: The Story of Television's Longest-running Children's Programme. Hamlyn Books 2008. ISBN 978-0-600-61793-8
  7. ^ "'Cold Blood' AI Winner" (Press release). Reuters. 4 June 1992. Archived from the original on 9 January 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ "FIRST TUESDAY (COLD BLOOD: THE MASSACRE OF EAST TIMOR)". ITN (Independent Television News). Archived from the original on 9 January 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ Constâncio Pinto; Matthew Jardine (1997). East Timor's Unfinished Struggle: Inside the Timorese Resistance. South End Press. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-89608-541-1.
  10. ^ "On the Birth of a Nation: Turning points | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". Retrieved 2017.

External links

Preceded by
John Noakes
Blue Peter Presenter No. 9
Succeeded by
Peter Duncan

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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