Max Christopher Wenner
Christopher Wenner in 2019.
Max Christopher Wenner
6 December 1954
|Other names||Max Stahl|
|Education||Stonyhurst College, Lancashire|
|Alma mater||Balliol College, Oxford|
|Known for||Blue Peter|
Channel 4 News (ITN)
(international war coverage)
|Parent(s)||Michael Alfred Wenner (b. 1921, Macclesfield, Cheshire) and Gunnilla Ståhle (1931-1986, Sweden)|
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.
Wenner was educated at Stonyhurst College, a boarding independent school near Clitheroe in Lancashire, which he left in 1973, followed by Balliol College at the University of Oxford, where he acted in the Dramatic Society.
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." 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".
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.
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.
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.