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HARDtalk

Author: BBC World Service

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In-depth, hard-hitting interviews with newsworthy personalities.
897 Episodes
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South Africa is facing its deepest political crisis of the post-apartheid era. Days of violence and looting saw more than 200 people killed and thousands arrested. Stephen Sackur speaks to Fikile Mbalula, the country's transport minister. Is the ANC government being confronted with its own failure?
Stephen Sackur speaks to former Haitian Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe. Pity the eleven million people of Haiti; it is hard to think of a nation more comprehensively shattered by many decades of misrule and the ravages of natural disaster. In the latest lurch toward chaos the president Jovenel Moïse was assassinated earlier this month. Who ordered the hit is not clear but a protracted struggle for power seems certain. Can anything be done to end Haiti’s suffering? (Photo: Laurent Lamothe appears via video link on Hardtalk)
HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Michael Holding, the former West Indies cricket great who is now a prominent voice confronting racism. In England, there’s a fierce debate about how best to root out racism, following vile abuse aimed at black footballers. But it’s an issue confronting many sports. Is this a fight sport can win? Image: Michael Holding (Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire)
Measured by the number of murders Mexico is the most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist. Eight were killed last year; and countless more suffered threats, intimidation and violence. Stephen Sackur speaks to Lydia Cacho - one of Mexico’s most prominent journalists who - after decades of assaults, death threats and at least one assassination attempt - is currently in exile for her own safety. Her particular focus is the violence done to women in Mexico and the failure of those in power to make good on promises of protection. Can courage overcome injustice? (Photo: Lydia Cacho appears via video link on Hardtalk)
Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the leading figures in the British Labour party, Jess Phillips MP. She’s a tireless campaigner against domestic violence and has won plaudits for her direct, from-the-heart style of politics. Across continents and cultures there is a common, and corrosive, political phenomenon – rising anger and alienation amongst voters who feel neglected and ignored by the system. Is there a way out of today's polarised politics?
Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the past century's most influential environmentalists, James Lovelock. He introduced us to the Gaia hypothesis – the idea that our planet and all the life on it are part of one dynamic, self-regulating system. Lovelock is now 101 years old and still having big thoughts about the future of life on Earth. Have we humans sown the seeds of our own destruction?
Writer Lionel Shriver

Writer Lionel Shriver

2021-07-0723:59

In our culture of 24/7 news and trending social media reactions, it sometimes takes a novelist’s eye to chart the deeper, current events swirling beneath society’s surface. Lionel Shriver is a British-based American writer whose fiction has addressed school shootings, obesity, economic crisis and in her latest book, voluntary euthanasia. She’s a contrarian, but is she also a combatant in the western world’s culture wars?
Zeinab Badawi speaks to Professor Christian Happi whose ground-breaking research is helping tackle diseases that kill thousands every year. He gave up a career at Harvard University in the US and moved back to Africa where is setting up a world-class laboratory in Nigeria which will have a pandemic early detection system. He believes Africa could become a global centre of knowledge about infectious diseases such as Covid-19. How realistic is his vision?
As the Chinese Communist Party marks its 100th anniversary, Stephen Sackur speaks to veteran party loyalist Victor Gao, vice president of the Centre for China and Globalization in Beijing. The party has engineered a remarkable transformation that’s made China a global superpower, but is the level of internal control and repression sustainable?
Africa is going through its first recession in more than a quarter of a century because of the global downturn caused by the Covid pandemic. The economic crisis is being keenly felt in Nigeria, the continent’s most populous country. Its 200 million people are struggling with long-standing challenges, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic and deteriorating security. Zeinab Badawi speaks to Nigeria’s finance minister, Zainab Ahmed. What is her plan to avert financial meltdown as well as help deliver stability?
Somali-born fashion editor Rawdah Mohamed has taken up a senior role at the soon-to-be launched Vogue Scandinavia. After moving to Norway as a child, she became a model, and in April created a social media storm with a post called ‘Hands off my Hijab’. How far can she use fashion to overturn negative stereotypes of Muslim women?
Michael Stipe was the lead singer of one of the most influential bands of the last four decades, REM. He was the figurehead of indie rock, enigmatic, serious, political. Now he’s a visual artist, so how has his creative vision evolved?
No industry has been hit harder by the global pandemic than aviation. Cross-border travel is either banned or constrained by tests and quarantines across much of the world. And, in a time full of uncertainty and insecurity, who wants to travel for either business or pleasure? Stephen Sackur speaks to Johan Lundgren, CEO of EasyJet, Europe’s second biggest budget airline. Can his business model survive the double whammy of Covid and climate change? (Photo: Johan Lundgren in the Hardtalk studio)
President Biden says the US is determined to lead NATO's response to evolving geographical and technological threats. But there have been marked disagreements between alliance members on relations with Russia, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, defence spending and the so-called ‘systemic challenge’ posed by China. Just how united is the West’s military alliance?
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?
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Comments (56)

ForexTraderNYC

haha Never thought I'd hear mike holding at this show, great crickter, great accent! music to the ears all of it.

Jul 19th
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ForexTraderNYC

respectable lady, smart politician

Jul 15th
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abiola shadrack

this Zainab Ahmed is absolutely delusional at best and at worst, demented. with all the rubbish and excuses she keeps giving. finance minister of a failed state.

Jul 9th
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abiola shadrack

this Minister is only deceiving herself and the delusional cabinet

Jul 9th
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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
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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
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Doha Hashish

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

May 15th
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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
Reply

N Me

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

Dec 2nd
Reply
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