In-depth, hard-hitting interviews with newsworthy personalities.

In-depth, hard-hitting interviews with newsworthy personalities.


United Kingdom




In-depth, hard-hitting interviews with newsworthy personalities.




Gregory Doran: Why does Shakespeare still captivate us?

Stephen Sackur is in Stratford-upon-Avon, interviewing Gregory Doran, artistic director emeritus of the Royal Shakespeare Company. More than 400 years after his death, Shakespeare’s words and stories live on, transcending languages and borders. Why do we continue to make much ado about Shakespeare?


The Singh Twins: Mixing art and politics

Zeinab Badawi is at the Firstsite gallery in Colchester to speak to acclaimed contemporary British artists the Singh Twins. Their work combines Eastern and Western traditions with sharp political comment. What inspires their artistic vision?


James Lovelock: The future of life on Earth

In an interview recorded in 2021, 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. At the age of 101, Lovelock still had big thoughts about the future of life on Earth. Have we humans sown the seeds of our own destruction? Audio for this episode updated on Monday 1st August 2022.


Julius Malema: Is South Africa on the brink of chaos?

Stephen Sackur speaks to South Africa’s controversial populist politician Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters. Allegations of political corruption, power cuts and mass unemployment are pushing South Africa to the brink of chaos. Could one of Africa’s richest nations be consumed by insurrectionist violence?


Fatih Birol: Could short-term panic derail the clean energy transition?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, and an influential advocate of the global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Has that green transition been hampered or hastened by the Ukraine war and Europe’s deepening energy crisis?


Sharan Burrow: Do workers have faith in collective action?

Stephen Sackur interviews the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Sharan Burrow. There are signs of deepening worker discontent around the world; inflation is outstripping wages, and global corporations stand accused of putting profits before people, while many governments see organised labour as a threat. Have workers lost their faith in collective action?

Omah Lay: Is there a universal message in his music?

Sarah Montague speaks to Afrobeats musician Omah Lay. With its roots in the social activist Afrobeat music pioneered by Fela Kuti, is there a universal message in the music of this young Nigerian singer-songwriter? (Photo: Omah Lay talks to Sarah Montague)


Meaza Ashenafi: What are the prospects for peace in Ethiopia?

The conflict in Ethiopia between the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front and government forces is one of many challenges to the country’s stability. Now, there is a glimmer of hope, with both sides saying they are willing to start efforts to end the war. Zeinab Badawi speaks to Meaza Ashenafi, the Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia. What are the prospects for peace and justice in a conflict that has killed tens of thousands?


Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda: Does Christianity in Iraq have a future?

Twenty-five years ago, almost one and a half million Christians lived in Iraq. Now there are around a quarter of a million, and after years of war and communal violence many of them have been displaced from their ancestral homes. Can anything be done to reverse this trend toward extinction? Stephen Sackur speaks to Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil, home to the largest remaining Christian community. In a country and a region where Christianity has deep roots, does it have a future?


Nury Turkel: Will the world stand up for China's Uyghurs?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Nury Turkel, a prominent Uyghur activist in exile and chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. He is a key leader in the effort to pressure China to end the repression of the Uyghurs. But is his campaign doomed to fail? (Photo: Nury Turkel in the Hardtalk studio)


Ibram X. Kendi: America's unhealed racial wounds

The fractures in American society are widening, over guns, abortion, education and more. But the deepest, most traumatic fracture is surely over race. The US is post-slavery, post-segregation, but definitely not post-racism. Stephen Sackur speaks to Ibram X. Kendi, an influential writer and academic, who argues the only way to not be racist is to be actively anti-racist - a message he says children must hear. But does his approach risk intensifying America’s internal conflict?


Steve Thompson: Rugby's traumatic legacy

Steve Thompson is a World Cup-winning England rugby player whose brain has been irreparably damaged by years of collisions. His wife Steph helps him deal with a life blighted by early-onset dementia. What happens when the game just isn’t worth it?


Lord Patten: Were promises to Hong Kong broken?

When the UK handed Hong Kong back to China 25 years ago, the last words of the departing British Governor to the people of the territory were: “Now Hong Kong people are to run Hong Kong. That is the promise. And that is the unshakeable destiny.” Sarah Montague speaks to Lord Patten, the man who made that pledge, to ask if that promise has been broken - and if the UK could have done more to honour it.


K. Shanmugam: Will Singapore have to choose between the US and China?

Stephen Sackur speaks to K. Shanmugam, Singapore’s minister of home affairs. Economically open, socially conservative and highly politically controlled, Singapore has thrived in the era of globalisation, but could rising US/China tensions force it to take sides?


Henry Huiyao Wang: Is China exposing its vulnerabilities?

Stephen Sackur speaks to China thinktank founder and sometime government adviser Henry Huiyao Wang. From its strategic partnership with Putin’s Russia, to its draconian and economically damaging Covid policy, is Beijing making calls which expose its vulnerabilities?


João Vale de Almeida: Have UK-EU relations become toxic?

Stephen Sackur speaks to João Vale de Almeida, the EU’s Ambassador to the UK, who is at the sharp end of the bitter fight between Boris Johnson’s government and Brussels over Northern Ireland. If Britain backs out of the Brexit deal and the EU retaliates, how toxic could things get?


Semyon Bychkov: Artists speaking out against Putin

Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the world’s great conductors, Semyon Bychkov. Born in the Soviet Union, exiled from Russia, and a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, does he fear the fall out for artists when nationalism and politics take centre stage?


Olha Stefanishyna: Will Kyiv get the support it needs?

Stephen Sackur speaks to one of Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Ministers, Olha Stefanishyna. The country faces a moment of truth: Russian firepower on the frontline is beginning to tell, as the EU contemplates whether to accept Ukraine as a candidate for membership. Will Kyiv get the support it needs?


Nicu Popescu: How can Moldova protect itself?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Nicu Popescu, Moldova’s foreign minister and deputy Prime Minister. Poor, beset with corruption and strategically vulnerable, Moldova has reasons to fear that Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine could end on its soil. How does Moldova best protect itself?


Josef Aschbacher: Is Europe losing the space race?

Stephen Sackur speaks to the head of the European Space Agency, Josef Aschbacher. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine put an end to space cooperation with Moscow, leaving key projects in disarray. Has it also left Europe looking like an also-ran in the space race?