Podcasts by Category
- 1267 - Abdullah Mohtadi: What do Iran's Kurds want?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Abdullah Mohtadi, the leader of the Iranian Kurdish political movement Komala. From his exile in Iraq, he’s one of many voices calling for freedom and democracy in Iran. But what do Iran’s Kurds really want - more rights or independence?Sun, 04 Jun 2023
- 1266 - Ama Ata Aidoo: Celebrating women in Africa
The acclaimed Ghanaian writer Ama Ata Aidoo has died aged 81. A former education minister for a brief period in Ghana, she arguably did more than any other writer to depict and celebrate the condition of women in Africa. Zeinab Badawi spoke with her in 2014. How much is there really to celebrate about being female in Africa? Image: Ama Ata Aidoo, pictured in 2017 (Credit: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images)Fri, 02 Jun 2023
- 1265 - Julius Malema: What would he do with power?
The African National Congress has dominated South African politics for the last 29 years, but the party of Nelson Mandela is in trouble. A power crisis is doing new damage to an economy already hit by shocking levels of poverty, inequality and corruption. If the ANC is faltering, who stands best placed to offer an alternative? Stephen Sackur speaks to the leader of the radical populist Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema. What will happen to South Africa if he gets even a share of power?Fri, 02 Jun 2023
- 1264 - Roxane Gay: An unflinching memoir
Stephen Sackur speaks to American writer, academic and cultural commentator Roxane Gay. Her unflinching, extraordinary memoir Hunger deals with her experience of rape and obesity. How scary is the level of self-exposure in much of her writing?Fri, 02 Jun 2023
- 1263 - Martin Amis: The 2013 interview
Coming up after the news from the BBC World Service, it’s HARDtalk with me Stephen Sackur. The influential British author Martin Amis has died at his home in Florida aged 73. Stephen Sackur interviewed him in 2013 after the release of his novel Lionel Asbo: State of England. He was pigeon-holed early in his career as the ‘enfant terrible’ of the British literary world and throughout his career he remained one of the most closely scrutinised novelists of his generation. His books were filled with greed, lust, addiction and ignorance, and yet he suggested he wrote in a celebratory spirit. So, what exactly was he celebrating?Wed, 31 May 2023
- 1262 - John Steenhuisen: Is he a credible alternative to the ANC?
Stephen Sackur speaks to John Steenhuisen, the leader of South Africa’s biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance. He thinks South Africans are ready to throw out the ANC thanks to their failure to fix the economy, the energy sector and corruption, but is he a credible alternative?Mon, 29 May 2023
- 1261 - Fikile Mbalula: Will the ANC pay the price of failure?
The ANC has ruled in South Africa since the racist apartheid system was overthrown. But right now the country is in a big mess, with a protracted energy crisis, unemployment, inequality and systemic corruption. Stephen Sackur is in Johannesburg to speak to Fikile Mbalula, secretary general of the ANC. Many South Africans feel their country is failing. With elections looming, will the ANC pay the price?Wed, 24 May 2023
- 1260 - Sir Isaac Julien: The lasting impact of art
Zeinab Badawi speaks to the British artist and filmmaker Sir Isaac Julien, whose forty year career is steeped in powerful cultural and political messages. What is more important to him: Art or activism?Fri, 19 May 2023
- 1259 - Jane Horrocks: The pathway to empowerment
Stephen Sackur speaks to the actor Jane Horrocks, whose extraordinary range has seen her star in musicals, comedies and gritty dramas. In a capricious, sometimes cruel industry, she embraced writing as well as performing. Was that her pathway to empowerment?Wed, 17 May 2023
- 1258 - Hartmut Dorgerloh: Where do colonial treasures belong?
The Humboldt Forum is one of Germany’s great cultural institutions, housing a collection of thousands of works of non-European art. Germany, like many former imperial powers, is now asking itself whether treasures grabbed by European colonisers should be returned to their countries of origin. Stephen Sackur interviews the director of the Humboldt, Hartmut Dorgerloh. Is Germany taking the lead in the restoration movement?Thu, 11 May 2023
- 1257 - Wavel Ramkalawan: Are the Seychelles becoming paradise lost?
Stephen Sackur talks to Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan. His tiny nation is a tourist magnet, but there are huge challenges: climate change, a shocking rate of heroin addiction and a political culture tainted by corruption allegations. Is this a case of paradise lost?Wed, 10 May 2023
- 1256 - Karin Kneissl: Vienna’s ties to Moscow and the impact of Austrian neutrality
Stephen Sackur speaks to Austria’s former foreign minister, Karin Kneissl. Her ties to Moscow are close - Vladimir Putin attended her wedding, she sat on the board of a Russian energy company, and condemns Europe's arming of Ukraine on Russian TV. What does her story say about Vienna’s close ties to Moscow and the impact of Austria’s neutrality?Mon, 08 May 2023
- 1255 - Penpa Tsering: Preserving Tibet's identity
It is more than 60 years since the Dalai Lama fled Tibet and set up a government-in-exile, hopeful of one day going back. Since then, China has banned any mention of the spiritual leader in his homeland, and there are reports of widespread human rights abuses. Sarah Montague speaks to the president of that self-declared government-in-exile, Penpa Tsering. Will he ever get to see his ancestral homeland, let alone govern it?Fri, 05 May 2023
- 1254 - Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann: Has war in Ukraine led to a rethink in Germany?
Stephen Sackur is in Berlin to talk to the influential chair of the German parliament's defence committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann. Has Russia’s invasion of Ukraine really led to a fundamental strategic rethink in Berlin?Wed, 03 May 2023
- 1253 - Niels Annen: Germany's new foreign policy
Stephen Sackur is in Berlin for a special interview with Niels Annen, Germany’s State Secretary for Economic Co-operation. For decades Germany built its economic power on Russian energy and trade with China – that has left Germany looking vulnerable. So what is the new strategy? (Photo: Niels Annen, State Secretary for Economic Co-operation)Thu, 27 Apr 2023
- 1252 - Baaba Maal: Can the Sahel overcome its challenges?
Stephen Sackur speaks to the acclaimed Senegalese musician Baaba Maal. His records and musical collaborations have won him millions of fans worldwide, and he’s intent on helping his native Sahel region overcome its many challenges. Can this music icon make a difference?Wed, 26 Apr 2023
- 1251 - John Cooper Clarke: Punk and poetry
Stephen Sackur speaks to the pioneering performance poet John Cooper Clarke. From his early days as the bard of punk to a decade lost to heroin and then the worldwide success of his poem I Wanna Be Yours and now a new tour, John Cooper Clarke has used words, rhythm and rhyme to find humour and truth in the chaos of everyday life. Where does his word magic come from?Mon, 24 Apr 2023
- 1250 - Vladimir Kara-Murza: Defying Putin
Earlier this week, Russian political activist Vladimir Kara-Murza was sentenced to 25 years in prison in Russia for charges linked to his criticism of the war in Ukraine. He was found guilty of treason, spreading "false" information about the Russian army and being affiliated with an "undesirable organisation" – charges he denied. In 2017, HARDtalk spoke to him as he recovered in the US from what he said was a poisoning attempt in Moscow. Shortly before, he had been rushed to hospital in the Russian capital when his organs started shutting down. He said he knew immediately what was happening because the same thing had happened to him two years earlier. Both times he claimed he was the victim of deliberate poisoning, and that he was targeted because of his opposition to President Putin and the Russian government. He told the programme that despite the risks, he intended to return to Russia.Fri, 21 Apr 2023
- 1249 - Péter Szijjártó: Is Hungary alienating the EU and Nato?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister. Budapest is an outlier in both the EU and Nato, unwilling to arm Ukraine, eager to maintain close ties with Moscow, and dismissing demands to respect EU values. Will its defiance come at a price?Wed, 19 Apr 2023
- 1248 - Christo Grozev: Investigating Russia
Stephen Sackur speaks to Christo Grozev, Bellingcat's lead Russia investigator. His work has exposed crimes and embarrassed the Kremlin. What motivates this digital detective?Sun, 16 Apr 2023
- 1247 - Danny Danon: Is Netanyahu jeopardising Israel’s future?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Israeli MP and former UN ambassador Danny Danon. Amid political turmoil at home, a deteriorating security situation and stinging criticism from Israel’s allies overseas is the Netanyahu administration now jeopardising Israel’s future?Thu, 13 Apr 2023
- 1246 - Ben Ferencz: The last Nuremberg trials prosecutor
Ben Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg Nazi trials, has died aged 103. He also helped liberate the death camps of Europe when he was serving in the US military. In 2017, Zeinab Badawi travelled to Florida to interview him at his home. Did he believe the Nuremberg trials have made genocide and crimes against humanity less likely to be committed in the world today?Tue, 11 Apr 2023
- 1245 - Richard Neal: How Northern Ireland affects US-UK relations
As President Biden visits Belfast and Dublin to mark 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement, Stephen Sackur speaks to Congressman Richard Neal, an influential voice when it comes to US policy on Northern Ireland. Will US/UK relations be tied to what happens next in Northern Ireland?Sun, 09 Apr 2023
- 1243 - Geoffrey Robertson: The case for international justice
Stephen Sackur speaks to the renowned lawyer and author Geoffrey Robertson KC, who has long experience as an international human rights defender and a war crimes trial judge. Is the fact that President Vladimir Putin faces war crimes charges while still sitting in the Kremlin a sign of how far we’ve come, or how far we have to go when it comes to global justice?Mon, 03 Apr 2023
- 1242 - David Beasley: Can the world afford to feed its most vulnerable?
Sarah Montague speaks to David Beasley, the outgoing head of the World Food Programme. During his tenure, the agency’s budget has more than doubled but the number of those close to famine is growing and conflict is disrupting food supply. How can the world’s most hungry be fed? (Photo: David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme appears via videolink on Hardtalk)Fri, 31 Mar 2023
- 1241 - Bogdan Aurescu: How is Romania handling the pressure from the war on Ukraine?
The fallout from Putin’s war on Ukraine is having a big impact on Romania, from the refugee crisis to fears of conflict spreading to neighbouring Moldova. How is Romania handling the pressure? Stephen Sackur speaks to the country’s Foreign Minister, Bogdan Aurescu. (Photo: Bogdan Aurescu in the Hardtalk studio)Wed, 29 Mar 2023
- 1240 - Petr Pavel: Can Ukraine still count on Europe's support?
Stephen Sackur is in Prague for an exclusive interview with the newly elected president of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel. What does the election of this former NATO General tell us about the resolve of Europeans to continue their economic and military support for Ukraine?Mon, 27 Mar 2023
- 1239 - Evgeny Popov: Are cracks appearing at the Kremlin?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Russian MP and pro-Kremlin TV host Evgeny Popov. The Ukraine invasion is beset with problems and Putin faces war crimes charges. Are cracks appearing?Wed, 22 Mar 2023
- 1238 - James Daunt: Is the books industry a place where creativity and diversity truly thrive?
Stephen Sackur speaks to the hugely successful bookseller James Daunt. From Waterstones to Barnes & Noble he has fought off ebooks and online retail to revive bricks and mortar bookstores. But is the books industry a place where creativity and diversity truly thrive? (Photo: James Daunt in the Hardtalk studio)Mon, 20 Mar 2023
- 1237 - Mustafa Barghouti: Can Palestinians improve their situation?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Palestinian politician, physician and civil rights activist Mustafa Barghouti. The seemingly endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be on the brink of getting a lot worse. If the two-state solution is dead, what option do the Palestinians have? (Photo: Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the Palestinian National Initiative, appears via videolink on Hardtalk)Fri, 17 Mar 2023
- 1236 - Sergei Pugachev: Inside Putin's rise
Stephen Sackur is in Nice to speak to the former Russian oligarch and billionaire businessman Sergei Pugachev. He was once dubbed Putin’s banker, a close confidant who helped Putin reach the top. But their relationship soured. Pugachev was accused of massive financial crimes; he renounced his Russian citizenship and now lives with armed guards in the south of France. What does his extraordinary story tell us of Putin’s strengths and weaknesses?Mon, 13 Mar 2023
- 1235 - Simcha Rothman: Is Israel plunging into chaos?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Israeli politician Simcha Rothman, a key architect of the Netanyahu government’s controversial legal reforms aimed at radically overhauling the country’s judicial system. Critics say the plans threaten Israel’s democracy. This, alongside the rising violence in the occupied West Bank, raises questions about the strategic direction of Netanyahu’s ultra-nationalist government. Is Israel plunging into chaos?Fri, 10 Mar 2023
- 1234 - Notis Mitarachi: Has Greece's government lost the confidence of the people?
The devastating train crash in Greece which killed 57 people generated a wave of grief and anger. Many Greeks see the disaster as symptomatic of a failing state, characterised by a lack of investment in public infrastructure and a lack of accountability at the heart of government. Other aspects of public policy are also facing harsh scrutiny, from migration to internal security. Stephen Sackur speaks to Greece’s asylum and migration minister Notis Mitarachi. Has his government lost the confidence of the Greek people?Wed, 08 Mar 2023
- 1233 - Félix Maradiaga: Standing up to Nicaragua's president
Stephen Sackur speaks to Félix Maradiaga, the former opposition leader and presidential candidate imprisoned by Nicaragua’s veteran autocrat Daniel Ortega. Maradiaga was recently released, deported to the US and stripped of his Nicaraguan citizenship. Ortega is trying to eliminate all Nicaraguan opposition - could he succeed?Fri, 03 Mar 2023
- 1232 - Tikhon Dzyadko: Is there an audience for independent news in Russia?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Tikhon Dzyadko, editor-in-chief of Russia’s independent TV news channel Dozhd (or TV Rain). Closed down in Moscow, now they are broadcasting online from Latvia, using YouTube to reach Russians. Is there a Russian audience for this alternative to Putin’s propaganda machine? (Photo: Tikhon Dzyadko, editor-in-chief of Dozhd TV appears via videolink on Hardtalk)Wed, 01 Mar 2023
- 1231 - Ece Temelkuran: Is Erdogan's control of Turkey under threat?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Ece Temelkuran, a prominent exiled Turkish writer and critic of President Erdogan. Erdogan has dominated Turkey for two decades but after the terrible earthquakes, with economic and political problems mounting and an election imminent, could his opponents finally bring him down? (Photo: Ece Temelkuran in the Hardtalk studio)Fri, 24 Feb 2023
- 1230 - Olesya Khromeychuk: Conflict and identity
Stephen Sackur speaks to the British-Ukrainian historian and author Olesya Khromeychuk. She's written a book and a play about her brother Volodya, a soldier killed defending Ukraine in the Donbas long before Russia’s all out invasion began last year. Has Putin’s assault on Ukrainian identity strengthened what he set out to destroy?Wed, 22 Feb 2023
- 1229 - Stefanie Green: The ethics of assisted dying
Stephen Sackur speaks to Dr Stefanie Green, a leading advocate for Canada’s liberal assisted dying laws, who has herself overseen more than 300 deaths by euthanasia. Is Canada at ease with its role as a testing ground for complex ethical and medical arguments about assisted dying?Mon, 20 Feb 2023
- 1228 - Waris Dirie: The fight against FGM
Stephen Sackur speaks to Waris Dirie, the Somali born model, writer and activist. She was raised in poverty, and later became the muse of big fashion houses in New York and beyond. She chose campaigning over the catwalk, speaking out against female genital mutilation, which she experienced and is now determined to eliminate. Is this a fight she can win?Fri, 17 Feb 2023
- 1227 - Mick Lynch: Strife, strikes and workers' rights
Stephen Sackur speaks to Mick Lynch, leader of Britain’s biggest rail union the RMT. His members are striking for inflation proofed pay and job protection. It is a test case in a new era of worker versus employer fights with resonance across the world. But can the workers win?Wed, 15 Feb 2023
- 1226 - Kenneth Roth: Is the fight for human rights being lost?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Kenneth Roth, who spent three decades leading the campaign group Human Rights Watch. Why is the fight for human rights being lost in so many places?Mon, 13 Feb 2023
- 1225 - Kira Rudik: Can Ukraine win this war?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Kira Rudik, a Ukrainian MP and leader of the opposition party Golos. As the first anniversary of Putin’s invasion looms, does Ukraine have the external support and the internal cohesion it needs to win this war?Thu, 09 Feb 2023
- 1224 - Pervez Musharraf: Power in Pakistan
Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani army chief who masterminded a coup in 1999 and ruled the country for nine years, has died in Dubai aged 79 after a long illness. Stephen Sackur spoke to General Musharraf in 2014, after he had returned from exile to Pakistan in an attempt to revive his political career. What did his rise and fall tell us about the realities of power in Pakistan? Image: Pervez Musharraf, pictured in 2013 (Credit: Mian Khursheed/Reuters)Wed, 08 Feb 2023
- 1223 - Zsuzsanna Szelényi: How strong is Viktor Orbán's grip on Hungary?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Zsuzsanna Szelényi, a former ally, and now prominent opponent, of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Has Orbán found a political formula, illiberal democracy, for which his opponents have no answer?Mon, 06 Feb 2023
- 1222 - Sergey Karaganov: Is Putin placing bets he cannot win?
Stephen Sackur speaks to the Russian foreign policy strategist and sometime Kremlin adviser Sergey Karaganov. Russia is widely expected to launch a major new offensive in Ukraine very soon, but this war has already exposed Moscow’s vulnerabilities. Is Putin placing bets he cannot win?Fri, 03 Feb 2023
- 1221 - Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah: How should international aid work?
Stephen Sackur speaks to the boss of Oxfam Great Britain, Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah. He took over after Oxfam was hit by scandal with staff abusing their positions and power in Haiti. He promised to reimagine how international aid should be done and to put a new focus on global economic justice. Is his approach working?Wed, 01 Feb 2023
- 1220 - Robert Malley: What next for US policy on Iran?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Robert Malley, US special envoy for Iran. He’s an experienced diplomat facing a looming crisis. The attempt to revive a deal to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions appears to be dead, Tehran is repressing protests at home and arming Putin’s Russia in Ukraine. What can the US and its allies do about it?Mon, 30 Jan 2023
- 1219 - Leopoldo Lopez: Has Venezuela’s opposition been outmanoeuvred?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Leopoldo Lopez, a key leader of Venezuela’s opposition. Once a political prisoner, now in exile in Spain, his efforts to topple the socialist regime led by Nicolas Maduro have been thwarted. Has Venezuela’s pro-democracy movement been outmanoeuvred?Fri, 27 Jan 2023
- 1218 - Dmytro Kuleba: Is the West's hesitation undermining Ukraine?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba. The war with Russia has hit a winter stalemate, but what will spring bring? From battle tanks to air defences, Ukraine wants more help from its allies. Is Western wavering undermining Kyiv’s strategic options?Wed, 25 Jan 2023
- 1217 - Ruben Vardanyan: Nagorno-Karabakh and Putin
Stephen Sackur speaks to Ruben Vardanyan, state minister of the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, run by ethnic Armenians but surrounded by Azerbaijan and the subject of years of conflict. The Armenians have traditionally been backed by Russia, but is Putin a reliable ally?Mon, 23 Jan 2023
- 1216 - Celso Amorim: Is Brazil becoming ungovernable?
Brazilian President Lula must figure out whether another assault on government institutions is likely, and hold those responsible to account. All of that while he faces a mountain of economic, social and political challenges. How close is Brazil to being ungovernable? Stephen Sackur interviews Celso Amorim, formerly Brazil's foreign minister, now President Lula’s foreign policy advisor.Fri, 20 Jan 2023
- 1215 - Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Is global free trade possible?
Stephen Sackur is in Geneva to speak to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director general of the World Trade Organization. Her job is to maximise free and fair trade across the world. How is that possible in this age of big power tension and increased suspicion of globalisation?Wed, 18 Jan 2023
- 1214 - Jagath Weerasinghe: Sri Lanka's bloody past
Zeinab Badawi is in Sri Lanka to talk to one of the country’s most influential artists and archaeologists, Jagath Weerasinghe. What does his art tell us about Sri Lanka’s bloody and difficult past, and its prospects for a more peaceful future?Mon, 16 Jan 2023
- 1213 - Marilyn Stafford: A life in pictures
What makes a great photograph? In 2019, Stephen Sackur spoke to one of the pioneers of photojournalism, Marilyn Stafford. She was born in the United States but moved to Paris in the 1950s, where she became the protégé of the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Like him, Stafford loved to capture intimate portraits of ordinary people. She photographed everything from refugees fleeing war to models on the fashion catwalks. Later in life, her work was discovered and admired by a new generation. This is another chance to listen to the interview with Marilyn Stafford after her recent death aged 97. The interview was updated on 13th January 2023.Fri, 13 Jan 2023
- 1212 - Boris Bondarev: Speaking out against Putin
Stephen Sackur speaks to the former Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev, who quit his post and launched a scathing attack on the Putin regime after the invasion of Ukraine. Why haven’t more Moscow insiders followed his lead?Wed, 11 Jan 2023
- 1211 - Waheed Arian: Migration in the Western world
War and extreme poverty drive millions of people from their homes every year. Some of them try to reach the rich Western world, where such inward migration routinely prompts fear and draconian counter-measures. Stephen Sackur interviews Waheed Arian, who fled war in Afghanistan as a child, made it to the UK and is now a doctor running his own medical charity. Do perceptions change when the story of migration is personalised?Mon, 09 Jan 2023
- 1210 - Fawad Chaudhry: Is Pakistan heading for economic meltdown?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s former information minister and a senior figure in Imran Khan’s opposition PTI party. Pakistan is dealing with rampant inflation, an energy crisis and soaring national debt. Having lost the premiership, Khan is trying to bring down the current coalition government. Could political chaos tip the country into full-scale economic meltdown?Fri, 06 Jan 2023
- 1209 - Evgenia Kara-Murza: Has Putin neutralised his Russian opponents?
Stephen Sackur speaks to the Russian opposition activist Evgenia Kara-Murza, whose husband Vladimir, a prominent opponent of Vladimir Putin, is in prison in Russia having survived two apparent poisonings in recent years. Has Putin’s repression effectively neutralised meaningful opposition?Wed, 04 Jan 2023
- 1208 - Hardtalk in 2022
Passion, pain, tension, denial. This past year we’ve seen it all. Stephen Sackur presents excerpts from some of our most powerful interviews concerning matters of war and peace, human rights (in particular women’s rights), freedom of expression and freedom of information.Fri, 23 Dec 2022
- 1207 - Ericka Huggins: Do the Black Panthers have lessons for Black Lives Matter?
Stephen Sackur is in in Oakland, California, to speak to Ericka Huggins, an original member of the 1960s Black Panther Party. She experienced violence, imprisonment and vilification in the controversial campaign for black power. Do the Panthers have lessons for the Black Lives Matter movement?Mon, 19 Dec 2022
- 1206 - Wes Streeting: Is Britain ready for a new government?
British nurses are striking, and the health service is in trouble. Stephen Sackur speaks to Wes Streeting, a rising star of the UK's Labour party and their shadow health secretary. Does Labour have a credible plan to fix public services and save the UK from a winter of economic discontent?Fri, 16 Dec 2022
- 1205 - Oleksandra Matviichuk and Yan Rachinsky: Fighting for civil rights
Stephen Sackur is in Oslo to talk to two of the three joint winners of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Oleksandra Matviichuk is the head of the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine. Yan Rachinsky is chairman of the human rights group Memorial in Russia. The third winner, pro-democracy activist Ales Bialiatski, is a political prisoner in Belarus. What can civil society activism achieve in the face of authoritarian aggression? Image: Yan Rachinsky (L) and Oleksandra Matviichuk (R) (Credit: NTB/Haakon Mosvold Larsen via Reuters)Wed, 14 Dec 2022
- 1204 - Allen Ault: The most premeditated murder
Another chance to hear Stephen Sackur’s 2014 interview with Allen Ault. As the former Commissioner of Corrections in the US state of Georgia, Ault was responsible for state-sanctioned executions. He organised the killing of criminals until he could stand it no more. What made him leave his post and take up the campaign to end the death penalty?Fri, 09 Dec 2022
- 1203 - David Friedberg: Can tech fix our biggest challenges?
In a special edition from San Francisco, Stephen Sackur speaks to billionaire tech investor David Friedberg. He’s convinced science and technology can fix the world’s biggest challenges – climate, sustainable food, and energy production. But will we use our knowledge wisely?Wed, 07 Dec 2022
- 1202 - Daniel Ellsberg: Does the US military have too much power?
In an exclusive interview from California, Stephen Sackur speaks to Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers whistleblower who exposed US government lies about Vietnam. He helped hasten President Nixon’s downfall and he’s warned Americans about the dangers of unchecked military power ever since. But are they listening?Tue, 06 Dec 2022
- 1201 - London Breed: What does San Francisco reveal about the US?
Stephen Sackur is in the US to speak to San Francisco’s mayor London Breed, a rising star of the Democratic Party. Her city is one of contrasts - vast tech wealth alongside rampant crime, drug use and homelessness. It symbolises America’s urban dysfunction. Can the mayor fix it?Fri, 02 Dec 2022
- 1200 - Rachel Clarke: Talking honestly about the end of life
Stephen Sackur speaks to the palliative care doctor and author Rachel Clarke. She has written thought-provoking, moving accounts of what it's like to be a junior doctor, and how it felt to confront the Covid pandemic. But perhaps her most powerful book focuses on a subject that many doctors, and the public, find it difficult to discuss: Death. In Dear Life, she weaves together the personal story of a daughter facing the terminal cancer illness of her beloved father with that of a doctor who made a deliberate choice to focus her care on the dying. In the process of dying, which will of course be the fate of every one of us, Rachel Clarke finds life lessons which we would all do well to learn. She asks us to consider a tough question: can dying be life affirming?Wed, 30 Nov 2022
- 1199 - Barbara Chase-Riboud: Monuments and controversy
Zeinab Badawi speaks to American artist and writer Barbara Chase-Riboud at the Serpentine Galleries in London. Over a career spanning seven decades, Chase-Riboud has explored public memory and commemorative forms, as well as shone a light on historical perspectives that have been overlooked or neglected. Her work raises fascinating questions about how society deals with public monuments of controversial figures from the past.Mon, 28 Nov 2022
- 1198 - Getachew Reda: Have Tigray's rebels surrendered?
One of the most costly conflicts of the 21st century may be over. Representatives of the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan rebels signed a peace agreement earlier this month. After two years of war, and perhaps half a million civilian deaths, Tigrayan forces are to give up their weapons; the Ethiopian army will take control of Tigray; and aid should begin to reach millions of desperate people. Stephen Sackur speaks to Getachew Reda, who signed the deal on behalf of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Was this in effect the TPLF’s surrender?Fri, 25 Nov 2022
- 1197 - Chelsea Manning: Does transparency justify leaking state secrets?
Stephen Sackur interviews former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who leaked a trove of military secrets and spent seven years behind bars. Did her actions undermine American security?Wed, 23 Nov 2022
- 1196 - Salome Zourabichvili: How much does Georgia have to fear from Russia?
The war in Ukraine has triggered fears that Vladimir Putin may set his sights on other former Soviet republics. Zeinab Badawi speaks to Salome Zourabichvili, the President of Georgia, whose country shares a long border with Russia. How worried is she?Mon, 21 Nov 2022
- 1195 - Ronald Lamola: Does the ANC have answers for South Africa's problems?
Next month, the ruling ANC in South Africa holds its five-yearly national conference. President Cyril Ramaphosa is seeking re-election as leader of the party, which would him in position to contest nationwide elections in 2024. But South Africa is currently in the midst of a severe economic meltdown, with mass unemployment and crippling power cuts, and many are warning its political culture could bring the state to the point of collapse. Zeinab Badawi speaks to South African justice minister Ronald Lamola, seen as one of the rising stars of the ANC’s younger generation. How does he account for the government’s failure to address the myriad challenges it faces?Fri, 18 Nov 2022
- 1194 - Mark Wolf: Does the world need a new anti-corruption court?
Global leaders often come together to work for what they hope is the greater good, such as tackling climate change, conflict and the economic crisis. But does the world need a new body to put leaders on trial? Zeinab Badawi speaks to the American judge and academic Mark Wolf, who is trying to establish an international anti-corruption court to bring to justice leaders who abuse their power for private gain. Is this an idea whose time has come, or do we already have sufficient levers to bring the kleptocrats to court?Wed, 16 Nov 2022
- 1193 - David Dimbleby: Are journalistic values under threat?
Where do you get your news from, and do you trust it to be true? For many of us, the answers to these questions are changing. Social media is an increasingly dominant source of information; long-established news sources, like the BBC, are in a fight for audiences and for trust too. Stephen Sackur speaks to David Dimbleby, who, in the course of a long broadcasting career, became the face and voice of the BBC on the biggest occasions, from elections to royal ceremonies. Can his journalistic values survive in a world where opinion so often trumps truth?Fri, 11 Nov 2022
- 1192 - Gerard Lyons: Is Britain's economy up to scratch?
The UK economy is in a hole. Inflation is high, interest rates are rising, public debt is soaring and, according to the Bank of England, Britons face two years of recession. Stephen Sackur speaks to Gerard Lyons, an economist and sometime adviser to governing Conservative politicians. Can Britain’s economy bounce back, or is any optimism misplaced?Wed, 09 Nov 2022
- 1191 - Sauli Niinistö: Finland's new strategic direction
Stephen Sackur is in Helsinki for an exclusive interview with Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö. After decades of pragmatic coexistence with Moscow, Finland has made a big strategic decision: to join Nato, back Ukraine with weapons and reinforce their border with Russia. Are Finns ready for potential tension with their giant neighbour to the east?Mon, 07 Nov 2022
- 1190 - Ben Hodges: Is Ukrainian victory inevitable?
Stephen Sackur speaks to General Ben Hodges, former commander of the US army in Europe. He claims a Ukrainian victory in the war with Russia is inevitable, maybe within months. But given Putin’s pledge to use all means necessary to prevail, how does victory happen?Fri, 04 Nov 2022
- 1189 - Rafael Grossi: Is nuclear power ever risk-free?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Rafael Grossi, director general of the world’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. He’s been to Ukraine and has visited Putin in his continuing efforts to avert disaster at Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant. Is the Ukraine war a lesson that nuclear power is never risk-free?Wed, 02 Nov 2022
- 1188 - Dimitar Kovačevski: Can North Macedonia finally join the EU?
In an exclusive interview, Stephen Sackur is in Skopje to speak to North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski. His nation emerged out of the former Yugoslavia and is now in the queue for EU membership. But progress is slow. Could Brussels’s reluctance to embrace the Balkan candidate nations see this region sink back into dangerous instability?Mon, 31 Oct 2022
- 1187 - Matthew Collins: Taking on the far right
Stephen Sackur speaks to the writer and anti-racism campaigner Matthew Collins. In his youth he was himself a far-right thug, but he changed sides and became an informer. Now he’s a leading activist in the battle against violent extremism. He's written a book - The Walk In - about his experiences. What is the best antidote to today’s peddlers of race hate? This edition of Hardtalk contains references to racist language.Wed, 26 Oct 2022
- 1186 - Audrey Tang: Can Taiwan forge its own path?
Zeinab Badawi is in Taiwan to speak to Audrey Tang, the country's digital minister. The Taipei government says it stands for democracy in the face of increasing belligerence from China, which claims the self-governed island as part of its territory. Can Taiwan really forge its own path?Mon, 24 Oct 2022
- 1185 - Jan Lipavský: Will energy crisis break Europe's stand against Moscow?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Czech foreign minister, Jan Lipavský, an ardent supporter of Ukraine in a country facing an energy and economic crisis this winter. Vladimir Putin thinks Russia’s energy dominance can break Europe’s united stand against Moscow. Is he right?Thu, 20 Oct 2022
- 1184 - German Galushchenko: How vulnerable is Ukraine?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Ukraine’s energy minister, German Galushchenko. His country’s energy and power infrastructure is being targeted by Russian rockets and kamikaze drones. As Putin doubles down on his escalation strategy, how vulnerable is Ukraine?Wed, 19 Oct 2022
- 1183 - Dr Anthony Fauci: What did the US get wrong about Covid?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Dr Anthony Fauci, soon to retire as President Biden’s chief medical adviser. Under Trump, then Biden, Dr Fauci was at the forefront of America’s Covid response, which compares poorly with other rich world nations. What went wrong, and who’s to blame?Thu, 13 Oct 2022
- 1182 - Amin Salam: Is Lebanon heading for meltdown?
Lebanon is experiencing one of the most disastrous economic collapses of the last 100 years. The national economy is less than half the size it was just three years ago, while people are holding up banks in a desperate attempt to get their money out amid rampant inflation and a currency crisis. Stephen Sackur interviews Amin Salam, Minister of Economy and Trade for Lebanon. Politicians have failed the country for decades - will that change before the meltdown is complete?Wed, 12 Oct 2022
- 1181 - Maggie Haberman: Donald Trump and journalistic responsibility
Zeinab Badawi speaks to the award winning American journalist Maggie Haberman. She has published a book that chronicles the rise and fall of Donald Trump, and her revelations are creating sensational headlines in the US. What is the responsibility of a good journalist?Fri, 07 Oct 2022
- 1180 - Boris Grebenshchikov: Culture and protest in Russia
Zeinab Badawi speaks to Russian rock musician Boris Grebenshchikov, who last played in Russia the day before Putin invaded Ukraine. Now living in exile in London, BG (as he is known to his fans) risks prosecution if he returns to Russia for his anti-war comments. The role cultural icons have to play in the politics of protest is a well-trodden one. But do their voices have any impact inside Russia?Wed, 05 Oct 2022
- 1179 - Masih Alinejad: A revolution for Iranian women?
Stephen Sackur speaks to exiled Iranian women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad. The death in police custody of a young woman arrested for showing strands of her hair sparked protests across Iran, led by women, backed by many men. Could repression of women be the regime’s undoing?Thu, 29 Sep 2022
- 1178 - Evgeny Popov: Russia's mobilisation
Stephen Sackur speaks to Russian MP, Putin loyalist and influential state media commentator Evgeny Popov. Amid military reverses, mass mobilisation, and signs of internal dissent in Russia, is Putin’s Ukraine strategy doomed to fail?Tue, 27 Sep 2022
- 1177 - Reverend Richard Coles: Living with grief
For most of us, death and grief remain a private affair. An irreversible, life-altering shock when we lose someone close, for which there is no guide or preparation. Stephen Sackur interviews Reverend Richard Coles, a broadcaster and Church of England vicar, whose frank account of his own grief has struck a chord with many. Why did the death of his husband nearly break him?Mon, 26 Sep 2022
- 1176 - Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze: Can Putin’s threats undermine support for Ukraine?
Stephen Sackur speaks to the Ukrainian MP, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, who currently chairs the Ukrainian parliament’s EU Integration Committee. Kyiv’s battlefield gains have prompted Vladimir Putin to announce a partial mobilisation and ramp up his nuclear threats. What does this mean for Ukraine and for the support it relies on in the west?Fri, 23 Sep 2022
- 1175 - Maria Pevchikh: Where does Russia's anti-Putin movement go from here?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Maria Pevchikh, investigations chief for Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, which is now outlawed in Russia. With Vladimir Putin putting a tighter squeeze on Russian civil society and criticism of the war risking years in prison, where does Russia’s anti-Putin movement go from here?Mon, 12 Sep 2022
- 1174 - Vadym Prystaiko: Can Ukraine count on its allies?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine's former foreign minister, who now serves as the country's ambassador to the UK. With the war in Russia becoming protracted and attritional, and with Putin putting an energy squeeze on Europe, can Kyiv count on the staying power of its allies?Fri, 09 Sep 2022
- 1173 - Enrico Letta: Is Italy set to choose a far-right government?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Enrico Letta, leader of Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party. With a momentous General Election looming, can Italians be persuaded against embracing a coalition of the far right?Wed, 07 Sep 2022
- 1172 - Lindsey Graham: Trump and the midterms
In a special edition of HARDtalk from the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy, Stephen Sackur speaks to long-time Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham. He is perhaps the most forceful and voluble defender of former President Donald Trump in Washington DC. The expectation is that Trump will run again for president and try to regain the White House in 2024. But with legal troubles piling up, Republicans must decide: Can they afford to remain the party of Trump?Sun, 04 Sep 2022
- 1171 - Tova Friedman: Learning from history
Stephen Sackur speaks to Tova Friedman, one of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz. Never has it felt more important to remember the lessons of one of history’s greatest crimes, the Nazi genocide of the Jews. Europe is again witnessing a war of aggression, anti-Semitism is on the rise in many countries, and surveys of young people reveal alarming ignorance of the Holocaust. Now in her eighties, Tova Friedman has written a memoir and taken to social media to tell her story. Is the world listening?Fri, 02 Sep 2022
- 1170 - Gwen Adshead: Getting inside the minds of murderers
Zeinab Badawi speaks to Dr Gwen Adshead, a forensic psychiatrist and psychotherapist who has spent more than three decades trying to treat some of the UK’s most violent offenders. Why does she urge compassion and understanding for those who many brand as simply evil?Tue, 30 Aug 2022
- 1169 - Pinchas Goldschmidt: Is the Ukraine war deepening Jewish anxiety?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Pinchas Goldschmidt, who was chief rabbi of Moscow until he fled Russia after the Ukraine invasion and left his post. His fate has exposed the scale of wider Jewish flight from Russia, and divisions within the Jewish community. Why is this war deepening Jewish anxiety?Mon, 29 Aug 2022
- 1168 - Olga Rudenko: Is there room for government critique in Ukraine's fight for survival?
Stephen Sackur speaks to Olga Rudenko, chief editor of the Kyiv Independent - set up by Ukrainian journalists to hold their government to account. Is there room for independent journalism when Ukraine is in a fight for survival against Russian aggression?Thu, 25 Aug 2022
- 1167 - Sir Peter Blake: What keeps his creativity alive?
Stephen Sackur speaks to the artist Sir Peter Blake, whose work came to define the freshness and optimism of the 1960s. Now aged 90, he is still painting. What keeps his creativity alive?Mon, 22 Aug 2022
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