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HARDtalk

Author: BBC World Service

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In-depth, hard-hitting interviews with newsworthy personalities.
883 Episodes
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Stephen Sackur speaks to former Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama, Ben Rhodes. He has written a new book, After the Fall, reflecting on his time in the White House, the legacy of President Trump and the foreign policy challenges facing President Biden. With the rise of authoritarian, nationalist trends around the world, is the US in any position to lead a much touted global alliance of democracies? (Photo: Ben Rhodes appears via video link on Hardtalk)
Last March, the author and educator Michael Rosen was placed into an induced coma after contracting Covid-19. He has now released a dark, sad and uplifting memoir about his experience, but how did he find the poetic in a pandemic?
How long will it take the hospitality business to recover from the pandemic, and is there a new recognition of the link between our food and our health? Stephen Sackur speaks to British chef Tom Kerridge. (Photo: Tom Kerridge sits in his restaurant with Stephen Sackur)
Africa appears to have been relatively spared in the pandemic so far, but plans to have at least 30% of the continent's populations vaccinated by the end of 2021 seem far away. Hardtalk speaks to John Nkengasong, the director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Stephen Sackur speaks to the new director of London’s world-renowned Natural History Museum, Doug Gurr. They still love their ancient fossils here, but the real focus now is on the fragile future of our planet. Has this become a museum on a mission?
Who holds the reins of power in Pakistan? Prime Minister Imran Khan leads a government elected in 2018; if Pakistan is a genuine democracy, then that’s where power resides. But many government critics say the military dictates much that happens inside the country, particularly when it comes to silencing opposition to the covert power of the so-called deep state. Stephen Sackur speaks to Pakistan’s Information Minister, Fawad Chaudhry. What happened to Imran Khan’s pledge to deliver clean, transparent governance?
South Africa is wrestling with a continued health and economic crisis courtesy of Covid-19, but the country’s ruling ANC party is also distracted by internal divisions over corruption. Stephen Sackur speaks to Tito Mboweni, South Africa’s finance minister .
Stephen Sackur speaks to retired US general Ben Hodges, former Commander of the US Army in Europe. The 20th century was in many ways shaped by America’s unrivalled power; two decades into the new century, and it's clear the story arc is shifting. China is projecting its power across the globe, Russia is out to reassert its regional supremacy, and the limits of American power have been exposed from Iraq to Afghanistan. Is the US in danger of losing the race to define the 21st century?
Russia’s relations with the West have been poor for some time but now they have reached a new level of hostility. Since the imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, new sanctions have been imposed by both the US and EU. The Ukraine conflict, allegations of cyber attack and covert operations – the list of unresolved issues is growing. Stephen Sackur speaks to Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s Ambassador to the EU. Is confrontation with the West, President Putin’s strategic choice?
The latest round of conflict between Israel and militant groups in Gaza has left the Palestinian Authority looking sidelined and powerless. Is this a permanent shift in the Palestinian power dynamic? Stephen Sackur speaks to Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK.
When hostility between Russia and the West, is high the Baltic states get nervous. Will membership of the EU and Nato protect Estonia from the possibility of Russian aggression? Hardtalk speaks to Kaja Kallas, the prime minister of Estonia.
The escalating violence between Israel and the militant Islamic groups in Gaza has the potential to inflict terrible bloodshed, but will it change any of the underlying realities in this seemingly endless conflict? Stephen Sackur speaks to Israel’s Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely. (Photo: Tzipi Hotovely in the Hardtalk studio)
We have reached the point in the Covid pandemic where the impacts of the virus are varying wildly. Here in the UK, infection rates have been contained and a rapid vaccine roll out is having its effect, but in many other countries the situation remains critical. In this patchwork pandemic how much scope is there for a resumption of travel and tourism? Stephen Sackur speaks to Greece’s Minister of Tourism Haris Theoharis. (Photo: Haris Theoharis, Greece's Minister of Tourism)
Zeinab Badawi interviews Fawzia Koofi, the first woman to lead a political party in Afghanistan, and is part of an Afghan delegation in talks with the Taliban. Yet she is one of their fiercest critics, endures constant intimidation, and has survived several attempts on her life. Why is Fawzia Koofi so worried about the future stability of Afghanistan and its women?
Month by month, US President Joe Biden is shifting away from Trump-era foreign policy positions. But how dramatic will the pivot be? In the Middle East, there are signs of a changed approach to the region's two oil-rich adversaries Saudi Arabia and Iran; more pressure on the Saudis, more engagement with Tehran. Stephen Sackur speaks to the influential boss of Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya English news channel, Mohamed Alyahya. Have the Saudis forfeited America’s unstinting support? (Photo: Mohamed Alyahya appears via video link on Hardtalk)
Stephen Sackur interviews Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian citizen who was once identified as a high value al-Qaeda terrorist, serving 14 years in America’s Guantanamo Bay prison. He was eventually released without charge, and now a film, The Mauritanian, has been released telling this remarkable story. What is the Guantanamo Bay legacy? (Photo: Mohamedou Ould Slahi appears via videolink on Hardtalk)
Gilbert Prousch and George Passmore first met as art students in London in the late 1960s and ever since then they've been together as a couple and as an artistic duo. From the beginning they’re own physical presence has been central to their work and they see themselves as living sculptures. They appear in most of their work, wearing their distinctive tweed jackets and ties. Their subject matter is the stuff of daily life in London, including the stuff other artists would never dream of using including bodily fluids, faeces and trash. Over the decades they’ve had work exhibited in many of the world's top modern art galleries and have sold works for millions of dollars. Now in London they’ve presented a collection of lockdown era work entitled New Normal pictures but is there anything normal about Gilbert and George?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba. A few days ago, the Ukrainian Government was pleading for international help to confront the threat of a Russian military offensive from the East, but the feared assault never came. Russia declared its military exercise was over, and began to redeploy its forces. What did Ukraine and the outside world learn from this rattling of Russian sabres? (Photo: Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, appears via video link on Hardtalk)
Russian troops are massing on Ukraine’s border, while China and the US are locked in Cold War-style hostility. Cyberwarfare makes states, systems and individuals feel newly vulnerable. Stephen Sackur interviews Sir Peter Westmacott - he was Britain’s Ambassador in Washington, Paris and Ankara. Does he think we are at peak geopolitical risk?
The imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny describes himself as a walking skeleton. He’s refusing food in protest at his medical treatment, and thousands of Russians joined protests to show their solidarity. The Kremlin seems intent on destroying Navalny’s movement, irrespective of internal dissent or international condemnation. Stephen Sackur speaks to Vladimir Ashurkov, a key Navalny ally and executive director of his anti-corruption foundation. Is Putin about to eliminate his most dangerous opponent?
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Comments (52)

Doha Hashish

look Stephen, First, the Arab world doesn't want such normalizations with Israel, as for why it happened? it is simply because we have weak leadership and we call them traitors if you don't know, second, the debate now and ever should be about the legality of Israel to be in Palestin! Palestin is for Palestinians and not jews! Third, All Arabs are united now against Israel and I hope it would be the end of the occupation, so no use of talking about Fath and other fragments in Palestin as there will always be disagreements, the beneficial thing to do is to call for giving Palestinians their home back and stopping bias by the international community against Palestinians!

May 20th
Reply

Doha Hashish

Hamas is using children as human shields?! Ohhhh! You are using the ever lasting advice of Nazis "Lie big" How on earth could a mum allow her children to be used in such way??!

May 15th
Reply

Doha Hashish

lier again!!! Hamas is in complete harmony with all the political groups in Palestin!

May 15th
Reply

Doha Hashish

Lier!!!!! You are targeting populated areas without warning, people are dying under their collapsing homes! Such a lier same as your government!

May 15th
Reply

Doha Hashish

Hamas is what!!!??? targeting your children?! Have not you seen the news? well, if you don't have the images of killed Palestinian children just send me your email and i will send you some! and one more thing, if you are so careful about how israelis are experiencing for thr first time the rockets of Hamas, I'd like to take your tell you that it is "a sip of your own medicine! Your military has been firing rockets on Gaza since 1948! first hit, first complain!

May 15th
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N Me

it's nice of you Israel, to announce to the apartment building that you are going to bomb them. you say this is bc hamas is hiding in civilian buildings. that this courtesy is to give the civilians a chance to leave. I ask you where are they to go?

May 14th
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ForexTraderNYC

wow quite impressive communicator. Inspiring man! Great to see such leaders with backbone, to express their people's concern so clearly. SOme Nations do owe afghans more than just money for fighting their battles n wars, who sacrificed lives for a mutual cause ie: freedom n humanity.

Apr 9th
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ForexTraderNYC

elegant sounding woman she does not sound 80 at ALL! such interesting responses, she sounds sincere & definately ahead of her times indeed. she said ARE YOU MAD to stephen? wow my jaw dropped..I will view this interview on utube for sure!

Apr 8th
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Natasha vdB

there's a mixup....no interview with Marina A but Regina from Hong Kong. Please correct.

Mar 31st
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ForexTraderNYC

Stephen mauled her in this debate when election results yielding them 0 seats she lost it, " but but we did better than last year!" yea...not good enuff a response. For China every land is matter of dignity n they won't allow west to get involved just as China didn't get involve during western colonization. They can use that excuse everytime n west cannot delete their black history of colonization n imperialism.

Mar 24th
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ForexTraderNYC

good job by adar countering all the contentions raised. He sounds reasonable didn't shy away from accepting reality of making profit to further the cause via R & D. Very good point vaccination effects global businesses, so collaboration is necessary but cost has to be reasonable/affordable.

Mar 16th
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ForexTraderNYC

a lioness! you care a lot! very objective n determined, wish her success.

Mar 10th
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ForexTraderNYC

love how abrasive interviewer is " u haven't done anything, u failed! " but lady fought well..I'd just freeze...love this pod

Feb 25th
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Doha Hashish

Hey Steven, sorry to tell you, but the whole episode today is 18 sec! I bet you wouldn't ever go be that soft with whoever you're interviewing 😁

Feb 6th
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ForexTraderNYC

so much respect for a professional man doing his job with integrity n honesty n transparency, allowing patients to make their decisions as doc he seems to present FACTS as is..he was very clear n concise thru out interview , impressive gentleman. A hero!

Dec 7th
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N Me

Mr. Sakur's interview approach is second to none. Another great show Sir.

Dec 2nd
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ForexTraderNYC

this guy n his leader were found guilty for corruption n are hiding in UK claiming to be seeking health treatment it's been yrs..these guys are an embarrassment...trying to cause political instability from London while his leader's daughter delivers (cringy) speeches calling to ousting elected govt. These ppl r an embarrassment to the nation n need to be handed over to serve their prison terms as criminals. the nerve the audacity of this guy to show up n lie, it's mind boggling.

Dec 2nd
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ForexTraderNYC

wow I love these strong debate handling non apologetic EU Ladies so articulate n confident!

Nov 19th
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Ed Chow

Sackur is a die hard Western capitalist fan boy and is finding it difficult to accept China's state capitalism is simply leaving his white man world behind hence the continuous snide attacks on China during this somewhat tedious episode. His anti China views are hardly suppressable.

Oct 27th
Reply

ForexTraderNYC

what a guy..brainwashed trump cult member ignores all trump lies n deceit n continues to shamelessly defend trump..psychopaths have no sense of guilt o conscious.

Oct 21st
Reply
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