Episodes
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s third term will depend on the reliability of two smaller parties in his ruling coalition. Stephen Sackur speaks to Sachin Pilot, a senior figure in the Indian National Congress party, which will lead a diverse opposition coalition. Is India heading for a period of consensual government or chaos?
Published 06/21/24
Published 06/21/24
Ukraine is under enormous pressure as Russia seeks new frontline gains and, in the diplomatic arena, some Western allies show signs of war fatigue. Stephen Sackur asks Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, whether Kyiv will be bounced into a deal on President Putin’s terms.
Published 06/20/24
Stephen Sackur is in Paris to speak to the acclaimed actor and director Mathieu Kassovitz. Three decades ago, his film La Haine (Hate) focused on inequality, racism and police brutality in a Parisian suburb. He has a powerful voice in French culture, so what is his take on where his country is now and where it’s going?
Published 06/18/24
Stephen Sackur speaks to Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank. He wants massive international financial backing to turn his continent into a global economic powerhouse. But amid chronic poverty, debt and climate threats, will Africa get the support it needs?
Published 06/17/24
Stephen Sackur is in Paris to speak to the French Minister Delegate for Europe, Jean-Noël Barrot. President Emmanuel Macron has just taken the gamble of his political life, calling a snap parliamentary election in an effort to outsmart the extremes of right and left. If it backfires, what will it mean for France and Europe?
Published 06/14/24
Mishal Husain speaks to the architect Eyal Weizman. He works in what he calls ‘forensic architecture’, where details of buildings and physical spaces – and their destruction – are used to highlight abuses and persecution. Is he right to see architecture as political – a way in which human beings can oppress as well as create?
Published 06/12/24
Sarah Montague speaks to hostage negotiator Mickey Bergman, who has spent much of the last two decades working behind the scenes to help negotiate the release of Americans kidnapped or detained abroad – either by criminals, political actors or governments. What difference do such “fringe diplomats” make? Are they a help or a hindrance?
Published 06/04/24
Mishal Husain speaks to R. Derek Black, who was brought up in a family steeped in America’s white nationalist ideology, with a father who was a Ku Klux Klan leader. Then came exposure to a different world, and Derek’s journey to anti-racism. How did it come about, and what can we all learn from it?
Published 06/03/24
Mishal Husain speaks to the former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Mohammed Shtayyeh. How does he see the Palestinian people’s future? Can he, and should he, work with Hamas?
Published 05/30/24
Stephen Sackur speaks to the data scientist Stephen J Shaw, who argues that humanity faces a looming demographic crisis, with falling birth rates having dire economic and social consequences. But in an age of economic turbulence and ecological concern, do we really want to be promoting the idea that humans need to have more babies?
Published 05/27/24
Sarah Montague speaks to Norway’s Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide. His country, along with Ireland and Spain, says it will recognise a Palestinian state. Israel says that decision sends a message to the world that “terrorism pays”. Will the move help or hinder the path to peace in the Middle East?
Published 05/24/24
Stephen Sackur speaks to Professor Jim Skea, chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is a key player collating the latest climate science and right now the situation looks grim; global emissions are still rising, so are temperatures and targets seem likely to be missed. Are humans bungling our chance to avert disaster?
Published 05/21/24
Stephen Sackur speaks to Gillian Slovo whose acclaimed fiction, plays and memoirs reflect an extraordinary backstory. The daughter of South African parents whose struggle against apartheid brought prison and exile and in her mother’s case, assassination. Has her writing exorcised demons? (Photo: Gillian Slovo in the Hardtalk studio)
Published 05/20/24
Stephen Sackur is in Helsinki to speak to the President of Finland Alexander Stubb. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Finland to take the strategically significant step of joining Nato. But is it wise for Finland to pick sides in the deepening conflict between Russia and the west?
Published 05/17/24
Stephen Sackur speaks to Sir Ron Dennis, founder of the McLaren Group and one of the most successful team leaders ever in Formula 1 racing. He was known as a technical innovator and perfectionist focused on marginal gains in every aspect of race car design. Sir Ron and his McLaren team won a host of F1 constructors' and drivers' world championships with some of greats of motor racing: Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Lewis Hamilton. What fuelled his drive to win?
Published 05/15/24
Stephen Sackur speaks to Canada’s defence minister Bill Blair. When it comes to military spending, Canada lies well short of Nato’s target. But with fears of Russian aggression on the rise, not least in the Arctic region, are Canadians changing their attitude to defence strategy?
Published 05/13/24
Stephen Sackur speaks to Lithuania’s foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis. He wants the West to ramp up support for Ukraine to defeat Putin; he’s infuriated China with his stand on Taiwan. He calls it values-based foreign policy, but is Europe backing him?
Published 05/07/24
Stephen Sackur speaks to Jonathan Haidt, the American social psychologist whose work focuses on how social and cultural change affects our minds and thoughts. How worried should we be about what smartphones and social media are doing to our children’s mental health?
Published 05/05/24
Stephen Sackur speaks to Mihai Popșoi, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Moldova. The former Soviet Republic in south east Europe is now seeking EU membership. Just as in neighbouring Ukraine, Moldova’s western orientation has infuriated Moscow; is another conflict looming?
Published 05/04/24
In 2021, Stephen Sackur is travelled to New York to speak to writer Paul Auster, who died this week aged 77.
Published 05/03/24
Stephen Sackur speaks to Ami Ayalon, former director of the Israeli Security Agency, also known as Shin Bet, and now a fierce critic of Prime Minister Netanyahu's government. Is today's Israel ready to listen to the lessons of one of its ageing warriors?
Published 05/01/24
Stephen Sackur speaks to Lebanon’s economy minister, Amin Salam. After years of economic meltdown, Lebanon is once again threatened by escalating regional conflict involving Israel and Iran. Does the Beirut government have the will or the means to prevent a further slide into chaos?
Published 04/29/24
In an exclusive interview, Stephen Sackur speaks to Joan Donoghue, who has just retired as president of the International Court of Justice. In January, the court found there was a plausible case for Israel to answer for alleged violation of the Genocide Convention. Has the ruling changed anything in Gaza?
Published 04/26/24
Another chance to listen to Stephen Sackur’s 2013 interview with American philosopher Daniel Dennett, who has died aged 82. Described as one of the Four Horsemen of New Atheism, Dennett wrote powerfully against religion. But do humans really want to live in a world where atheism rules and religion is dead?
Published 04/24/24