Hardtalk [world Service]

Episodes

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20091027
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Two economists discuss whether Asia should aspire to Western levels of consumption

Growth is good - that's a basic economic assumption shared the world over, but is it always true?

Is it possible, or desirable, for the new giants of the world economy China and India to grow their economies until they reach American levels of consumption?

Stephen Sackur is joined by Chandran Nair, founder of the Global Institute for Tomorrow and Raghuram Rajan, former IMF economist and now an economic adviser to the Indian prime minister to discuss if free market capitalism will make or break Asia.

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BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten talks about the future of the media organisation

The BBC is the worlds biggest broadcaster.

It has a proud history, but what about its future?

Funding is being squeezed, the competition across all media platforms is intense and its role as a public service broadcaster is under constant scrutiny.

Lord Patten is the Chairman of the Trust which oversees the BBC.

The global media landscape is changing with extraordinary speed; can the BBC keep up?

Lord Patten talks to Stephen Sackur.

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Steve Keen, the ‘Merchant of Gloom’.

gives his take on avoiding the economic depression.

'Another Great Depression is all but inevitable’ - that's the view of Steve Keen.

No wonder he's been called the ‘Merchant of Gloom’.

But then Keen is one of the few economists to have predicted the global financial crisis.

And while he used to be a lone voice challenging the economic consensus, more and more people are now listening to him.

His way of avoiding depression? Write off the debt, bankrupt the banks, nationalize the financial system, and start all over again.

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20171023

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

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

Over the past 25 years Zambia has been a positive example of stable, relatively free and democratic governance in Africa. But that cherished status has been jeopardised recently with the country witnessing a disputed election, political violence, a state of emergency and the imprisonment of Zambian opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema. He was freed last August, but still refuses to accept the legitimacy of last year’s election. Is he destabilising Zambia?

(Photo: Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema waves at his supporters. Credit: Dawood Salim/AFP)

20171103

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

Have the secessionists scored a massive own goal? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Alfred Bosch of the Republican Left of Catalonia party. Far from settling anything, the Catalan regional government’s recent declaration of independence has deepened the uncertainty and confusion in Catalonia. Madrid has placed the region under direct rule, with the leaders of the ousted administration in Barcelona facing charges and trial. New elections are to be held in December. Alfred Bosch is a senior figure in the Republican Left of Catalonia party which was part of the independence coalition.

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We've become used to the idea we're living in Asia's century - that China and India are leading an irreversible shift of power from West to East.

Well, maybe its time to challenge the new orthodoxy.

Asian nations face huge unresolved challenges - of poverty, poor governance and environmental degradation.

Stephen Sackur speaks to Rajat Nag, managing director of the Asian Development Bank and asks: are reports of Asia's economic advance somewhat premature?

Managing Director of the Asian Development Bank on inequality and governance in Asia.

05/10/201120111008

Managing Director of the Asian Development Bank on inequality and governance in Asia.

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07/10/2016 Gmt20161007
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09/11/2016 Gmt20161109
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1/1/20162016010120160102 (WS)

Hardtalk interviews newsmakers and personalities from across the globe.

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16/09/201120110917

The BBC is the worlds biggest broadcaster.

It has a proud history, but what about its future?

Funding is being squeezed, the competition across all media platforms is intense and its role as a public service broadcaster is under constant scrutiny.

Lord Patten is the Chairman of the Trust which oversees the BBC.

The global media landscape is changing with extraordinary speed; can the BBC keep up?

Lord Patten talks to Stephen Sackur.

BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten talks about the future of the media organisation

16/11/2016 Gmt20161116
16/12/2016 Gmt20161216
17/08/201120110818

Some of the most ambitious, dedicated athletes in the world will star in the London 2012 Olympics - and many more will figure in the Paralympic games which will follow.

Thousands of disabled competitors will be straining every sinew not just to win gold, but also to convince the world their sporting prowess matches that of Usain Bolt and the rest.

Stephen Sackur speaks to Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, winner of 11 Paralympic gold medals and now an influential voice in UK sport.

Paralympic gold medalist Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson talks to Stephen Sackur

17/08/201120110820

Some of the most ambitious, dedicated athletes in the world will star in the London 2012 Olympics - and many more will figure in the Paralympic games which will follow.

Thousands of disabled competitors will be straining every sinew not just to win gold, but also to convince the world their sporting prowess matches that of Usain Bolt and the rest.

Stephen Sackur speaks to Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, winner of 11 Paralympic gold medals and now an influential voice in UK sport.

Paralympic gold medalist Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson talks to Stephen Sackur

18/01/201220120119
18/04/201220120419

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18/11/2016 Gmt20161118
19/03/201220120320
19/08/201120110820

Two economists discuss whether Asia should aspire to Western levels of consumption.

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19/12/201120111220
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20/04/201220120421

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Cycling is one of the most physically demanding of professional sports.

It is also one of the most tainted.

In the last decade, a host of top riders have been exposed as drugs cheats, including David Millar.

Millar held the Tour de France's yellow jersey and was a world champion before he was exposed.

Banned for two years, he then came back, committed, not just to racing, but to cleaning up cycling.

But is there room for integrity in a world where winning is everything?

Stephen Sackur talks to former world champion cyclist David Millar.

24/10/2016 Gmt20161024
25/01/201220120126
25/04/201220120426

25/11/201120111126

Steve Keen, the ‘Merchant of Gloom’.

gives his take on avoiding the economic depression.

26/03/201220120327
26/08/201120110827

The Gaddafi era is over - after four decades of dictatorship Libyans have an opportunity to dismantle his republic of fear and build something better.

But will they?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Hisham Matar, a Libyan novelist whose own father remains one of the disappeared of the Gaddafi regime.

How quickly can Libyans heal their country's wounds?

How quickly can Libyans heal their country's wounds? Stephen Sackur speaks to Hisham Matar

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Ab Yehoshua - Author2013030420130305 (WS)

Can one of Israel's great writers chart a way for Israelis and Palestinians in conflict?

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians arouses passions like few others. But on one thing most people can agree: that there's no prospect of the struggle ending anytime soon. So given the failure of the politicians and the diplomats, the militants and the liberals – what should we take from the words of the writer?

AB Yehoshua is known as one of Israel's great men of letters. His latest book is seen by some as a powerful allegory of the journey Israeli Jews need now to take. So can he chart a way through the quagmire? And why does he have such a low opinion of Jews outside Israel?

(Image: AB Yehoshua, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Actor - Gwyneth Paltrow20161226

Why does Gwyneth Paltrow rouse such strong reaction?

Stephen Sackur talks to Oscar-winning actor Gwyneth Paltrow in Cannes, South of France. A Hollywood A-lister who in recent years has focused much of her attention on building her lifestyle and consumer business, Goop. Her likes and dislikes are followed by millions, prompting aspiration in some, mockery in others. Why does Gwyneth Paltrow rouse such strong reaction?

Photo: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur talks to Oscar-winning actor Gwyneth Paltrow in Cannes, South of France. A Hollywood A-lister who in recent years has focused much of her attention on building her lifestyle and consumer business, Goop. Her likes and dislikes are followed by millions, prompting aspiration in some, mockery in others. Why does Gwyneth Paltrow rouse such strong reaction?

Actor - Viggo Mortensen20140526

Has the American movie industry contributed to the ‘Hollywoodisation’ of global culture?

Hardtalk speaks to award-winning film star, Viggo Mortensen. Known to many for his starring role in The Lord of the Rings, he is not your average Hollywood leading man. Fluent in four languages and of mixed American and Danish background, he spent his childhood in three continents – so, what is his response to critics who say the American movie industry has contributed to the ‘Hollywoodisation’ of global culture and killed diversity?

Picture: Viggo Mortensen, Credit: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Actor And Campaigner - Jeremy Irons20131225

Actor Jeremy Irons has strong opinions about toxic waste. Could it get him into trouble?

The Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons is best known for his portrayal of troubled, brooding upper class men. This year he has made a documentary about the potentially devastating impact of the mountains of toxic waste polluting our planet. He is an actor with very strong opinions. Could that get him into trouble?

Actor Gwyneth Paltrow20160701

Why does Gwyneth Paltrow rouse such strong reaction?

Stephen Sackur talks to Gwyneth Paltrow, Oscar winning actor in Cannes, in the South of France. A Hollywood A-lister who in recent years has focused much of her attention on building her lifestyle and consumer business, Goop. Her likes and dislikes are followed by millions, prompting aspiration in some, mockery in others. Why does Gwyneth Paltrow rouse such strong reaction?

(Photo: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow signs copies of her book It's All Easy. Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Actress - Dame Diana Rigg20160822

What's the secret to a great acting performance?

In the public mind, Dame Diana Rigg will forever be linked with performances which were almost a sideshow in her long career. Her roles as Mrs Peel in The Avengers and as Bond girl Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service attracted huge attention - but it’s in the theatre that she's won critical acclaim and a host of awards. Now she has an iconic role in the hit series Game of Thrones - what's the secret to a great acting performance?

Picture: Diana Rigg, Credit: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Adviser To Former British Pm Gordon Brown, 2005 € 2009 - Damian Mcbride20131004

In the past Damian McBride never let the truth stand in his way. What about now?

Opinion polls in Britain suggest public faith in politics and politicians has plummeted in the last decade. Why? A lot of powerful reasons lie within the pages of a dark political memoir written by Damian McBride. He was the spin doctor for former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and routinely used smears, leaks and a host of dirty tricks to serve his master's interests and undermine his enemies. In the past Damian McBride never let the truth stand in his way. What about now?

Afghanistan’s Ambassador To Pakistan - Omar Zakhilwal20160808

Stephen Sackur speaks to Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Omar Zakhilwal. When Ashraf Ghani became president of Afghanistan two years ago he talked of new diplomatic cooperation with Pakistan, aimed at ending the war with the Taliban. As so often before hopes have been dashed. The war goes on, relations between Kabul and Islamabad have soured and the Afghan people still live with a dysfunctional government and broken economy. Is Afghanistan beyond salvation?

(Photo: Omar Zakhilwal, 2013 Credit: Aamir Qureshi)

Is Afghanistan beyond salvation?

African American Civil Rights Activist - Dr Benjamin Chavis Jr20140401

Once Martin Luther King’s assistant, African American civil rights activist Benjamin Chavis is one of the leaders of the US civil rights movement.

At the age of 24 he was convicted of arson as leader of the Wilmington Ten protests, and sentenced to 34 years in prison. He was freed in 1980 after a federal appeal court overturned the convictions, and became Vice President of the National Council of Churches of the USA.

Sarah Montague speaks to Dr Benjamin Chavis Jr in front of a live audience in the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Picture: Dr Benjamin Chavis, Credit: Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

Alan Johnson € Uk Home Secretary 2009 € 201020130517

Has politics and politicians lost touch with real life?

The British public appears increasingly alienated from mainstream politics and politicians - a phenomenon which can also be seen in other mature democracies. Stephen Sackur speaks to Alan Johnson, who held a series of cabinet posts in the last Labour Government. He is that rare breed, a politician who grew up in poverty and worked his way up from the bottom. Has today’s professionalised class of politicians lost touch with real life?

Alan Moore - Graphic Novelist2013010220130103 (WS)

Alan Moore - man behind the mask worn by computer hackers and Occupy protestors the world over.

But he's no typical insurgent, rather a graphic novelist. He has championed the form for its effect on politics and culture.

Why is he now becoming disillusioned?

and insurgent explains why is he now becoming disillusioned.

Alan Moore - graphic novelist and insurgent explains why is he now becoming disillusioned.

Alaska20130826

Can fishing and mining co-exist?

Hardtalk is on the road in Alaska. Stephen Sackur visits the Bristol Bay region of south-west Alaska where the fishing industry, the mining industry and the federal government are locked in a bitter argument over environmental sustainability and resource exploitation. Every year 40 million salmon swim in to Bristol Bay before beginning their journey up the rivers and streams of the region, it’s one of the world’s great fisheries, however, 120 miles inland there is plan to build North American’s largest copper mine. Hardtalk explores whether the two forms of resource exploitation can co-exist?

Picture: Alaskan shoreline, Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

Alassane Ouattara - President Of Ivory Coast2013032720130328 (WS)

Ivory Coast was once one of west Africa's economic powerhouses. Today, the world's biggest cocoa producer is trying to recover from the conflict that tore the country apart. Following elections in late 2010 the incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to admit defeat to his opponent, Alassane Ouattara. After a period of violence in which thousands of Ivorians were killed, Gbagbo is now awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. As president of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara has the task of uniting a divided country. His critics accuse him of presiding over a victor's justice and letting off supporters of his who are suspected of crimes. Are they right?

(Image: Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara. Credit: REUTERS/Luc Gnago)

Ama Ata Aidoo - Author20140728

How much is there really to celebrate about being female in Africa?

Hardtalk speaks to the acclaimed Ghanaian writer Ama Ata Aidoo who has arguably done more than any other writer to depict and celebrate the condition of women in Africa, in books such as The Dilemma of a Ghost, and Changes. She is opposed to what she has described as a 'Western perception that the African female is a downtrodden wretch'. But when you look around the African continent today - girls abducted in Nigeria, polygamy reintroduced in Kenya, child marriages and the prevalence of gender based violence, how much is there really to celebrate about being female in Africa?

(Photo: Ama Ata Aidoo)

Amos Gilad € Director Of Policy, Israeli Ministry Of Defence2012080120120802 (WS)

Zeinab Badawi talks to Amos Gilad, Policy Director at the Israeli Ministry of Defence.

Zeinab Badawi talks to Amos Gilad, Policy Director at the Israeli Ministry of Defence. Is the Arab Spring a blessing or a disaster for Israel?

Upheaval in the Arab world, especially in Syria, means political realities are still evolving in the Middle East.

For years Israel has seen itself as living in a hostile neighbourhood, its borders tense and prone to bouts of violence. Hamas rules in Gaza and the peace process with the Palestinian Authority is going nowhere.

And then there's Iran - neither an Arab nation nor a neighbour, but a powerful backer of Syria's government in the current turmoil. And for Israeli military planners, a potential threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is probably their biggest pre-occupation.

(Image: Amos Gilad)

Amr Moussa20110910

was secretary general of the Arab League for ten years when he stepped down from the post last June.

Now he wants to be the president of Egypt and recent opinion polls show that he is a leading contender.

Stephen Sackur spoke to Mr Moussa at the Ambrosetti Forum on international affairs on the shores of Lake Como in Italy.

If he's elected president of Egypt, will he deliver the democratic reforms demanded by the protesters who helped to topple Hosni Mubarak?

Will Amr Moussa be the next president of Egypt?

Andrei Konchalovsky € Russian Film Director20140808

Can Russia's experience of World War One help explain what is going on today?

In August 1914, 100 years ago, the five great powers of Europe declared war on one another. For countries like Britain, Germany and France the significance of World War One is regularly debated and commemorated. But what of that other great power, Russia? It also fought against Germany, but by the end of the war Tsar Nicholas II and his family had been murdered and the Bolshevik Revolution had brought Lenin to power.

How far does what was happening in Russia then, help explain what is going on today? Zeinab Badawi talks to the renowned Russian theatre and film director Andrei Konchalovsky.

Image: Andrei Konchalovsky. Credit: Getty

Anglique Kidjo - Musician And Activist2012082220120823 (WS)

Stephen Sackur speaks to one of Africa's foremost divas, Angélique Kidjo.

Angélique Kidjo has been hailed as Africa's premier diva, known for her passionate voice and fierce determination to help African girls fulfil their potential.

Three decades ago she left her home continent and became an international star.

Stephen Sackur asks Kidjo how much Africa and its music scene has changed between then and now.

(Image: Angelique Kidjo performing in 2010. Credit: AFP / Getty Images)

Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-ali20151002

Zeinab Badawi meets Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali who was born in Pakistan and whose Muslim father converted to Christianity. Most of those fleeing from Syria to Europe are Muslims and this has provoked some tension between Christians and Muslims and between countries in Europe who are worried about the impact of so many refugees.The UN says the number of migrants and refugees arriving in Europe this year has already passed 500,000 more than double the total of 2014. How far has the refugee crisis tested our common humanity?

(Photo: Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. Credit: Getty Images)

How far has the refugee crisis exposed tensions between Christians and Muslims?

Archbishop Josiah Idowu-fearon20151214

For years the Anglican Communion has been gazing at its own navel - preoccupied with issues of sexuality and the growing rift between the liberal and conservative wings of the church. But all the while the Anglican faithful, along with other Christians have been living with persecution in countries as far afield as Syria, Sudan and Nigeria. Stephen Sackur speaks to the Secretary General of the Anglican communion Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon from Nigeria. Does the Anglican establishment have its priorities right?

Does the Anglican establishment have its priorities right?

Archbishop Of Canterbury - Justin Welby20140131

Can he help heal the divisions in conflict ridden countries such as South Sudan?

Hardtalk speaks to the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby. He has just embarked on a tour of four African countries, all touched by vicious and bloody conflict - South Sudan, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. It’s part of his mission to visit as many communities as possible in the 80-million strong Anglican Church worldwide. Can he help heal the divisions in these conflict ridden countries? And what’s his answer to critics who say that religion itself is partly to blame for ethnic hatred and killings. Also, the church is polarised on issues such as same-sex marriage and gay priests. Can the Archbishop keep the Church together?

Architect - David Adjaye2016032520160326 (WS)

Can architecture inspire people to think and behave differently?

Can architecture inspire people to think and behave differently? Hardtalk speaks to David Adjaye, one of the most sought after architects in the world today. Among his many buildings are the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, a business school in Moscow, shopping centres in Beirut and Lagos, a children's hospital in Rwanda, a housing project in New York's Harlem, and about to open - his biggest project yet - the National Museum of African American History and Culture sitting right on the National Mall in Washington. Has he got it right? What is the test of a good building?

(Photo: David Adjaye attends Design Dialogues No. 25 in Miami Beach, Florida. Credit: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

Arnold Ekpe - Ceo Ecobank Transnational Inc2012080320120804 (WS)

Stephen Sackur speaks to Arnold Ekpe, CEO of Ecobank Transnational Inc.

Six of the world's ten fastest growing economies are in Sub- Saharan Africa.

The World Bank predicts a decade of African growth which Europe can only dream of, but how realistic is the excitable talk of economic transformation in the world’s poorest continent?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Arnold Ekpe, CEO of Ecobank, which boasts eight million customers across 32 Sub-Saharan nations.

As economic opportunity beckons, are Africans ready to seize it?

Artist - Ai Weiwei20140806

Stephen Sackur speaks to the dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Under constant surveillance, prevented from leaving the country, how does this artist continue to find ways to do his work?

Please note that this programme was first broadcast in March 2014.

Image: Ai Weiwei. Credit: Getty

Artist And Musician - Brian Eno20160516

What is Brian Eno? A musician, a composer, or an artist impossible to label?

Stephen Sackur talks to Brian Eno, the hugely influential contemporary music maker once styled the ‘brainiest guy in pop’ – except the word ‘pop’ does not really fit. Briefly a member of Roxy Music in the early '70s, he then went his own way, creating ambient music, developing audio-visual installations and collaborating with a host of big names including Bowie, U2 and Coldplay. His output has been prolific and varied, but what is he? A musician, a composer, or an artist impossible to label?

(Photo: British musician and activist Brian Eno speaks at the the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), 2016, Berlin. Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Ashti Hawrami - Minister For Natural Resources, Kurdistan Regional Government2012092420120925 (WS)

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Kurdish minister Ashti Hawrami.

Kurds in Iraq are growing restless and impatient over the violence and open political rivalries in Baghdad, between Shias and Sunnis.

Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region of four million is a haven of relative stability and prosperity and what's more has its own oil riches to exploit.

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Ashti Hawrami. For the last six years, he's been Minister for Natural Resources in Kurdistan's regional government.

Why are Kurds upsetting the central government by increasingly seizing control of their oil resources and exports? Do they have plans to breakaway?

(Image: Ashti Hawrami. Credit: AFP / Getty Images)

Author - Margaret Atwood20161221

Where does her creative inspiration come from?

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to author, Margaret Atwood. There are writers of world renown whose reputation rests on one great book. There are others who write more prolifically but always in the same territory. Margaret Atwood's output fizzes with energy, diversity and experimentation. She's best known for her novels, The Handmaids Tale, The Blind Assassin, Oryx and Crake. But she's written poetry, blog fiction and this year a superhero comic book. She has a worldwide legion of fans - what keeps her creative juices flowing?

Author And Campaigner Margaret Atwood20161017

Poet, novelist, story writer, essayist, and environmental activist Margaret Atwood

There are writers of world renown whose reputation rests on one great book. There are others who write more prolifically but always in the same territory. And then there's Margaret Atwood whose output fizzes with energy, diversity and experimentation. She is best known for her novels, the Handmaids Tale, the Blind Assassin, Oryx and crake. But she has also written poetry, blog fiction and this year a superhero comic book. She has a worldwide legion of fans. So what keeps her creative juices flowing?

(Photo: Author Margaret Atwood at the 18th Annual LA Times Festival Of Books 2013. Credit: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

Author Patricia Cornwell20161031

What inspires her dark fiction?

There is a select group of fiction writers whose next book is eagerly anticipated by legions of fans around the world. Presenter Stephen Sackur speaks to a writer who has been in that club for two decades. Patricia Cornwell can lay claim to have invented the whole genre of crime scene, forensic detective fiction. Her investigator Kay Scarpetta has featured in two dozen novels, and inspired a host of imitators. The author herself talks of her determination to confront and control her fears - do her books tell us what she's frightened of?

(Photo: Patricia Cornwell in the Hardtalk studio)

Ayman Asfari - Chief Executive Petrofac Ltd20150930

Syrian businessman Ayman Asfari, CEO of Petrofac,on international intervention in Syria

After four years of civil war Syria is all but destroyed. At least 220,000 killed and half of the entire population forced from their homes and still the world's great powers argue over a response. Stephen Sackur talks to one of the world's wealthiest Syrians, Ayman Asfari, an exile based in Britain and founder and boss of the Petrofac oil services corporation. Behind the scenes he has lobbied hard for a more effective international intervention in his homeland, but what would that look like?

(Photo: Ayman Asfari, founder and boss of the Petrofac oil services corporation)

Ballet Dancer, Sylvie Guillem20151230

For more than three decades the ballet dancer Sylvie Guillem has performed as principal dancer at most leading ballet establishments, redrawing the boundaries of the genre. But at the end of this year she will be giving her last performance in a worldwide farewell tour. She will undoubtedly go down in ballet history as one of the greatest dancers of all time - but she is famously been dubbed 'Mademoiselle Non' for being too assertive. Zeinab Badawi speaks to her about that as well as the poisonous rivalries in the world of ballet and her activism to save the planet.

(Photo: Prima ballet dancer Sylvie Guillem of France delivers a speech at a press conference in Tokyo. Credit: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)

After more than 3 decades at the top, Sylvie Guillem is retiring from ballet.

Barbara Hulanicki, Founder Of Biba20150907

The fashion world today is full of numerous brands and designers - but one stands out as a pioneer of women’s high street fashion: Biba created by design icon Barbara Hulanicki. Born in Poland but raised in Britain her shops were a hangout for some of the most famous names in swinging sixties London. The rise and fall of Biba was a personal tragedy for her. But Barbara Hulanicki’s legacy is intact: she made fashion affordable for the masses. But has she helped bring about a throwaway culture that expects cheap and fashionable clothing?

Picture shows: Designer Barbara Hulanicki at Milan Fashion Week Menswear in 2009. Credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Barbara Hulanicki’s legacy is intact: she made fashion affordable for the masses.

Bassma Kodmani, Syrian Opposition Negotiator20160217

Stephen Sackur speaks to Syrian opposition negotiator, Bassma Kodmani.

After five years of bloodletting and suffering the Syrian war has a new, potentially game-changing dynamic. The combined forces of the Assad regime and its Iranian and Russian backers are pushing back the rebels in the north and west of the country; a mooted truce appears to have been brokered on Russia's terms and seems unlikely to halt the military push. Stephen Sackur speaks to Bassma Kodmani a representative of the so-called moderate rebels - is the only realistic choice in Syria Assad, or Islamic State?

Black Sabbath Guitarist - Tony Iommi20130701

Tony Iommi’s band is topping the charts again after 43 years. Black Sabbath are better known for the antics of on/off lead singer Ozzy Osborne than the skills of its guitarist. But Iommi is the one original member of the band to have stayed the course. Despite missing finger tips that can make playing painful, a rock'n'roll lifestyle lived to the full, and now cancer, the 'king of the heavy riff' is still recording and touring around his treatment. Shaun Ley asks, what keeps him playing?

(Image: Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath announcing their first new album in 33 years. Credit: Getty Images)

Bosnia And Herzegovina's Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak20160113

Can his country stay intact and navigate the road to full EU membership?

Bosnia and Herzegovina is due to officially apply for membership of the European Union. But 20 years after the Dayton Agreement, which ended the bloody civil war of the early 1990s, significant obstacles persist. Youth unemployment is the highest in Europe and ethnic divisions remain in place with the Serb dominated region of Republika Srpska often threatening to declare independence.

Stephen Sackur speaks to Igor Crnadak, the foreign minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Can his country stay intact and navigate the road to full EU membership?

(Photo: Bosnian Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak, 2015. Credit: Attilla Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images)

Brazilian Film-maker - Jose Padilha20140423

Is Padilha's dark vision of Brazil fact or fiction?

Jose Padilha is one of Brazil's most successful and controversial film makers. His movies focus on violence and corruption in the favelas of Rio. Is his dark vision of Brazil fact or fiction?

Picture: Jose Padilha, Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Brazilian Government Minister, 2003-january 2015 - Celso Amorim20151116

Is Brazil teetering on the brink of a major political and economic crisis?

Hardtalk speaks to Celso Amorim who served the last three presidents of Brazil until January this year. Is the country facing an economic and corruption crisis?

(Photo: Brazilian Defence Minister Celso Amorim speaks during a public hearing at the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia, Brazil. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Brian Sayers € Syrian Support Group2012082920120830 (WS)

While some Arab states are actively funding the Syrian opposition, the West has publicly refused to provide arms.

The US, in particular, has been criticised for its reluctance to get involved beyond talks and diplomacy.

Brian Sayers is a lobbyist for a US-based non-profit organisation. The Syrian Support Group has been given the green light by the US Treasury to raise money for the Free Syrian Army despite the fears that the FSA might have links to extremist groups in the region.

The Syrian Support Group insists that the money raised will not get into the wrong hands. How can they be sure?

(Image: Brian Sayers)

Stephen Sackur speaks to Brian Sayers from the Syrian Support Group.

British Energy And Climate Change Secretary - Ed Davey20140120

If we want clean, green and affordable energy, what role should fracking have?

The British government is 'going all out for shale'. Those are the words of the Prime Minister about his plan to allow companies to try to extract shale gas from deep underground. It's a contrast to most European countries - many have banned it until they are convinced it can be done safely without damaging the water supply. Sarah Montague speaks to Britain's Energy and Climate Change secretary - the Liberal Democrat Ed Davey. If we want clean, green and affordable energy, what role should fracking have?

(Picture: Ed Davey, Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

British Labour Peer And Kindertransport Refugee - Lord Alf Dubs20160518

Lord Dubs wants Britain to take more child refugees. What is Europe's responsibility?

Hardtalk presents a special programme recorded in front of an audience in the BBC’s Radio Theatre in Central London and a guest whose all consuming passion for this subject was forged in his childhood. Alfred Dubs, now Lord Dubs, arrived in Britain as a six-year-old fleeing Nazi persecution. He wants Britain to take more child refugees. What is Europe's responsibility to people fleeing conflict?

(Photo: Lord Dubs in the BBC's Radio Theatre)

British Labour Politicians - Ken Livingstone And Charles Clarke20150902

What does the leadership battle for Britain’s Labour Party tell us about left of centre politics in Britain and elsewhere in the world? If the polls are correct, then the veteran MP Jeremy Corbyn, is set to become the new Labour leader this month. He is the most left-wing of the four contestants and his anti-austerity economic policy is based on printing money for increased public spending and state ownership of major industries. After a huge defeat for Labour in May’s general election and a big swing to the Conservatives would Labour and other similar parties in Europe be more popular with voters by holding to the centre-ground?

(Photo: From left, Charles Clarke and Ken Livingstone)

What does the contest to lead Britain’s Labour Party mean for the future of socialism?

Broadcaster - Paul Gambaccini20151009

For decades one of Britain’s best known entertainers, the late Jimmy Savile, sexually abused children and vulnerable adults and got away with it. In response the police launched a massive effort to investigate allegations of historical sexual abuse. Other prominent people found themselves facing accusations. Stephen Sackur speaks to one of them, broadcaster Paul Gambaccini, who spent a year as a suspect before the case against him was dropped. What are the lessons of what he calls his 12 months of trauma?

(Photo: Host Paul Gambaccini at the Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival Awards Ceremony 2009, London. Credit: Getty Images)

Falsely accused in an investigation of historical sex abuse, when will the trauma end?

Brooke Magnanti - Belle Du Jour2012122820121229 (WS)

Belle de Jour aka Dr Brooke Magnanti is calling for prostitution to be decriminalised.

As Belle de Jour, she achieved global notoriety for years, writing a blog about her sexual encounters as a high-class escort girl working in London.

Now, after revealing herself to be an expert research scientist and no longer engaged in prostitution, Dr Brooke Magnanti is calling for prostitution to be decriminalised.

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister For European Affairs - Meglena Kuneva20160309

The European Union and Turkey have drawn up the outline of a deal which might stem the flow of migrants from Turkey to the West. But it will require EU states to take large numbers of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey, in a show of collective European burden sharing which may be hard to deliver. Stephen Sackur speaks to Meglena Kuneva, Bulgaria's deputy prime minister. Her country shares a border with Turkey, but has shown an iron fist toward refugees and migrants. Is Sofia out of step with European values?

(Photo: Meglena Kuneva, Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs. Credit: Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images)

Meglena Kuneva on Bulgaria's stance towards the European refugee and migrant deal

Catherine Mccartney20150909

Stephen Sackur talks to Catherine McCartney whose brother was murdered in Belfast in 2005. She thinks the IRA was responsible, and that the Republican paramilitaries are still active to this day. The charge - that the IRA has not gone away - now threatens Northern Ireland’s fragile political stability - but is it true?

(Photo: Catherine McCartney)

Are the IRA still active and what does this mean for Northern Ireland's stability?

Ceo Of The King Center - Dr Bernice A King20171030

Does the daughter of Martin Luther King believe racism is on the rise again in the US?

Does the daughter of Martin Luther King believe racism is on the rise again in the US? Hardtalk’s Zeinab Badawi speaks to Bernice King, CEO of The King Center and the youngest of Martin Luther King's four children. They are in Charleston, South Carolina, one of the most picturesque cities in the American South – yet one that holds an ugly truth. It was the main port for the slave trade; around half of the Africans brought to the United States passed though there. The fight for freedom and justice has been long and bloody. One of the most iconic figures of that struggle was the black civil rights leader Martin Luther King. It is nearly 50 years since he was assassinated in April 1968.

(Photo: Bernice King attends Rosa Parks Library Museum, Alabama, 2015. Credit: Jason Davis/Getty Images)

Ceo, Eni - Paolo Scaroni20131113

Is energy Europe's economic Achilles heel? While the US benefits from a massive investment in shale gas production, Europeans focus on decarbonising their economy while bickering about the relative merits of fracking, nuclear and renewable energy. Hardtalk speaks to Paolo Scaroni, boss of one of Europe's energy giants, the Italian oil company Eni. How can Europe best safeguard its energy future?

(Photo: Paolo Scaroni, chief executive officer of Italian energy company ENI. Credit: Reuters)

Ceo, Naftogaz Of Ukraine - Andriy Kobolev20160905

Shaun Ley speaks to Andriy Kobolyev, CEO of Ukaine’s Naftogaz. Ukraine is a country at war with itself, and not just because of separatists in the east. Corruption is endemic, especially in state industries. Andriy Kobolyev, CEO of state-run energy company Naftogaz is trying to clean it up. He wants to make gas more expensive, because massive subsidies discourage investment and encourage waste. But energy scams are a big source of income for some powerful people. Are his efforts being sabotaged from the very top?

(Photo: Head of Ukrainian Naftogaz state oil and gas firm Andriy Kobolev walks in front of the company's logo, 2014. Credit: Yuriy Kirnichny/AFP/Getty Images)

Are efforts to reform Ukraine's state energy company being sabotaged from the very top?

Chair Of The National Bank Of Greece, Louka Katseli20160201

Sarah Montague talks to Louka Katseli, chair of the National Bank of Greece, about whether Greece's banks are strong enough to help spark a lasting economic recovery.

(Photo: Louka Katseli, chair of the National Bank of Greece on Hardtalk)

Chairman Of Fortescue Metals Group - Andrew Forrest20150918

Is Australia's economy being hit by a slump in global commodity prices?

Australian politics has turned backstabbing into an art form. Thanks to yet another internal party coup, Malcom Turnbull has become the country's fifth Prime Minister since 2010. The political turbulence comes at a tough time - the Australian economy is being hit hard by the slowdown in China and the slump in global commodity prices. Stephen Sackur talks to the billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest. Has Australia squandered the riches that came with the resources boom of the early 21st Century?

(Photo: Andrew Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals Group)

Chairman Of The European Parliament's Epp Group - Manfred Weber Mep20160923

What effect has Angela Merkel's refugee policy had on the way Germany will be governed?

Manfred Weber is an MEP for Germany's Christian Social Union and leader of the largest political group in the European Parliament, the EPP. German voters have made it clear they are unhappy with their Chancellor Angela Merkel. In two regional elections this month her conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union, suffered a humiliating defeat. The EPP isn't happy with her either, warning of a split unless she changes policy on immigration. Is this the end for Angela Merkel? And what effect has her refugee policy had on the way Germany will be governed?

Chairman Of The Intelligence And Security Committee, Uk - Sir Malcolm Rifkind Mp20131016

Is the security state a potential threat to those it's supposed to protect?

Thanks to Edward Snowden, America's cyber-spy turned leaker, we now know US intelligence agencies backed by the British secretly monitor electronic communications all over the world. In Britain, Snowden's revelations have prompted a ferocious argument between self-styled defenders of liberty and pillars of the security establishment. Hardtalk speaks to Sir Malcolm Rifkind, chairman of the UK parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee. Is the security state a potential threat to those it's supposed to protect?

Picture: Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Chairman Of The Kenya Wildlife Service - Richard Leakey20151102

Will the fight for Africa's endangered wildlife have a happy ending?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Richard Leakey, Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service. Africa's wildlife is one of the wonders of the natural world, but the fate of the continent’s elephants, rhinos and big cats is now desperately uncertain - illegal poaching could see these great species disappear from their African heartlands. Will the fight for Africa's endangered wildlife have a happy ending?

Chairman Of The Us Federal Reserve 2006-2014 - Ben Bernanke20151028

Seven years ago Wall Street was close to meltdown. And the world economy was feeling the full force of a financial crash which changed long held assumptions about the stability of markets and global capitalism. Stephen Sackur speaks to Ben Bernanke who was chairman of the Federal Reserve, the US Central Bank, at the time and took decisions then which continue to shape economic policy today. Can we be confident the right lessons have been learned from the great crash?

(Photo: Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke arrives at the US Court of Federal Claims, Washington DC. Credit: Getty Images)

Can we be confident the right lessons have been learned from the great financial crash?

Chairman Uk Financial Services Authority, 2008 - 2013 - Lord Turner20151218

Lord Turner, is a doyen of the UK economic establishment who has concluded that western economies remain dangerously reliant on debt. It might be reassuring if we could put the blame for the financial crash of 2008 on greedy bankers but what if the crisis was much deeper and more structural? Stephen Sackur asks Lord Turner if his solution; printing money to stimulate growth without adding to the debt pile, is credible?

(Photo: Lord Turner in the Hardtalk studio)

Is Lord Turner's solution - printing money to stimulate growth - credible?

Chairman, China International Capital Corporation - Jin Liqun20140324

How worried should we be about the Chinese economy?

Since the financial meltdown of 2008, China has been the key driver of growth in the global economy. In Beijing, it is easy to see how the country's brand of command capitalism has transformed infrastructure and generated unprecedented wealth. But suddenly confidence has given way to insecurity - at the heart of it is a debt bubble that would threaten the whole world economy if it turned toxic. Hardtalk is in Beijing to speak to Jin Liqun, supremely well connected investment bank chief and former chairman of China's sovereign wealth fund. How worried should we be about the Chinese economy?

Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, Germany - Norbert Rttgen20160511

Germany is indisputably the most powerful nation in Europe, but does it have the will and the means to prevent the EU being undermined by division and fragmentation? The migration crisis and the Greek debt disaster have posed challenges that Angela Merkel has struggled to overcome. Stephen Sackur speaks to Norbert Röttgen, senior figure in the Christian Democratic party and chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the German parliament. Can German leadership rescue the European project?

Can German leadership rescue the European project?

Chairman, Indian Cricket Premier League, 2008 € 2010 - Lalit Modi20131007

Interview with the creator of the world’s richest cricket tournament

Thanks to money, media rights and commercialisation, cricket, a game of proud tradition, has been transformed into a multi-billion dollar sporting commodity. The cradle of this cricketing revolution has been India, home of the Indian Premier League – the world’s richest cricket tournament. Hardtalk speaks to Lalit Modi, the creator of the Indian Premier League. He has since been banished from cricket, and his native India, amid allegations of corruption and dodgy dealing. Is greed killing cricket?

Chairman, Intelligence And Security Committee, Uk - Dominic Grieve Mp20160328

The suicide bomb attacks in Brussels are unlikely to be the final operation mounted by the so-called Islamic State on European soil. France's President Hollande says Europe is now at war, so what are the most effective weapons at Europe's disposal? Dominic Grieve was the Attorney General in David Cameron's first term as British prime minister. He is now Chairman of the UK parliament’s Intelligence and security committee. Can Europe be both secure and free?

(Photo: Dominic Grieve, MP)

Following the recent attacks in Brussels, can Europe be both secure and free?

Chairman, Professional Footballers’ Association - Clarke Carlisle20130925

Tackling racism, corruption and depression - the problems behind football's flashy facade

Cheng Siwei

Chief Economic Advisor At Allianz And Former Ceo Of Pimco - Mohamed El-erian20161123

What will Trump's brand of interventionism do for the US and world economies?

How exactly does Donald Trump propose to make the American economy great again? By junking the economic orthodoxies of the recent past, it seems. He wants to slash taxes, spend big on public projects and renege on trade deals that he claims rip America off. Stephen Sackur talks to one of America's most respected economic analysts, Mohamed El-Erian, formerly CEO of PIMCO investments. What will Trump's brand of interventionism do for the US and world economies?

Chief Executive Cuadrilla Resources - Francis Egan20160127

Stephen Sackur speaks to Francis Egan, head of Cuadrilla, the company wanting a "shale gas revolution" in the UK. Can they win enough support to bring Fracking to the UK?

(Photo: Francis Egan on Hardtalk)

Hardtalk talks Fracking with Francis Egan, who wants to bring it to the UK

Chief Executive Of Nhs England - Sir David Nicholson20131011

In Britain healthcare is state-funded, free at the point of delivery to all citizens. The National Health Service is routinely described by politicians of all stripes as one of the country's greatest treasures. But the NHS's reputation has been damaged by recent shocking revelations of failings in patient care. Hardtalk speaks to the Chief Executive of NHS England, Sir David Nicholson. Is his health service capable of meeting the shifting demands and daunting financial challenges of 21st Century healthcare?

Can the NHS meet the demands and financial challenges of 21st Century healthcare?

Chief Justice Of South Africa - Mogoeng Mogoeng20130628

Can Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng restore confidence in South Africa's legal system?

Since the end of apartheid almost 20 years ago South Africa's constitution has become one of the most admired in the world - progressive, transformative, guaranteeing equality and human rights. But despite the great strides the country has made the reality is failing to live up to the promise. The legal system which guarantees the constitution has itself come under fire -- from within the government, from the opposition, and from some human rights groups. The buck stops with South Africa's Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

(Image: South African President Jacob Zuma (left) poses with new Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Chief Science Officer, Sens Foundation - Aubrey De Grey20140623

What would life be like without ageing? Is it a vision that's inspiring or dangerous?

Imagine life without ageing. You could live for hundreds of years with the mental and physical attributes of your 25-year-old self. Would you be tempted? Hardtalk speaks to a scientist and futurologist who believes it is a proposition that 21st Century biotechnology will soon be able to deliver. Aubrey de Grey's Californian research foundation is spending millions of dollars in a bid to conquer the ageing process. Is his vision inspiring, daft, or downright dangerous?

Civil Rights Activist - Rev. Al Sharpton20160817

Who speaks most effectively for black America today?

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur talks to Al Sharpton, the veteran, often controversial, civil rights campaigner. One of the bleaker themes of Barack Obama's presidency has been the crisis in relations between black America and the criminal justice system. We've seen unarmed black men shot dead by the police and officers gunned down in what appear to be acts of vengeance. A new movement Black Lives Matter has given voice to anger on the streets. Who speaks most effectively for black America today ?

Clive Woodward - Director Of Sport, British Olympic Association2012021720120218
Co-founder, Free Belarus Theatre - Natalia Kaliada20140512

Is drama an effective tool of resistance?

Belarus is Europe's last old-fashioned dictatorship - a country where political dissent gets you beaten up and locked up. Hardtalk speaks to one Belarussian who has refused to be cowed by President Lukashenko's iron fist. Natalia Kaliada co-founded the Belarus Free Theatre almost a decade ago. Directors, actors, even the audience have all faced arrest and imprisonment, but still their shows go on. Is drama an effective tool of resistance?

(Photo: Natalia Kaliada)

Commander In Chief, Economic Freedom Fighters, South Africa - Julius Malema20151130

Zeinab Badawi speaks with Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters or EFF. He is one of the most colourful and controversial politicians in South Africa. To his supporters he is a populist who understands their needs and is willing to stand up for them. To his critics he is a demagogue who makes inflammatory statements against corruption whilst personally enriching himself. The EFF came out of nowhere to win more than 6% of the vote in national elections last year. With their distinctive red berets and noisy interventions, they have made their mark in South African politics. But is the EFF anything more than a protest party?

(Photo: South African opposition party Economic Freedom Fighter ( EFF) leader Julius Malema. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Is Julius Malema's EFF party more than a protest party?

Composer - Hans Zimmer20160408

Is there still life in the superhero movie?

From his Oscar winning score for The Lion King, through 12 Years A Slave to a series of superhero blockbusters, including the latest - Batman v Superman - Hans Zimmer is, as one director put it, "quite simply the contemporary composer to work with". German born, British educated, he never received formal musical training and he's a champion of technology. Hardtalk’s Shaun Ley asks Hans Zimmer whether the technology he so loves is killing the music makers?

Composer - Sir John Tavener20131115

One of Britain’s most celebrated composers talks to Sarah Montague

One of Britain’s most celebrated composers, Sir John Tavener died this week at the age of 69. He was one of the few contemporary composers who became known and loved beyond the classical world. Forty years ago, his work was sometimes dismissed as bland, populist, new age. But over time he has defied the critics - the Protecting Veil was one of the biggest selling classical albums ever, and his Song for Athene was played at the funeral of Princess Diana.

He said he wrote music for God, even referring to it as a form of divine dictation and Sir John was still composing right up to his last days. He had struggled with ill health for much of his life and had suffered a near fatal heart attack six years ago - something he said that changed everything for him: his music, his outlook on life, and his faith. In this wide-ranging interview, first broadcast in August, he told Sarah Montague about how that experience had affected him.

Conflict-zone Surgeon - David Nott20131023

British surgeon David Nott spent five weeks practising medicine on Syria's frontline

The International diplomatic effort to push Syria's warring parties to the negotiating table continues - as does the mission to eliminate the Assad regime's stockpile of chemical weapons. But all the while the suffering of Syrian civilians intensifies. Hardtalk speaks to David Nott, a British surgeon recently returned from five weeks practising frontline medicine in rebel-held Syrian territory. He calls it the most troubling experience in his 20 years of crisis care. In a conflict such as Syria's, how much difference can a courageous doctor make?

Conrad Black - Former Ceo Of Hollinger International2012102620121027 (WS)

From global media baron to convicted criminal doing time in a Florida jail, the remarkable rise and fall of Conrad Black has made for years of lurid headlines - not least in the newspapers he used to own. Now Conrad Black, or Lord Black of Crossharbour, is a free man out to rebuild his reputation on both sides of the Atlantic. After a turbulent decade, is he a changed man?

(Image: Conrad Black. Credit: Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Stephen Sackur talks to former media baron Lord Black of Crossharbour.

Crispin Blunt Mp20150923

The British Government wants parliamentary authorisation to bomb the jihadists of IS in Syria. That same Government adamantly does not want to offer refuge to any of the many tens of thousands of Syrian refugees now homeless and desperate inside Europe. Does David Cameron's position make sense? Stephen Sackur talks to the UK Government’s Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Conservative MP Crispin Blunt.

(Photo: Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Shara meets with British MP Crispin Blunt. Credit: Getty Images)

Does David Cameron's position on Syria and the migrant crisis make sense?

Daniel Dennett € Philosopher And Cognitive Scientist20130401

Do humans want to live in a world where atheism rules and religion is dead?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Daniel Dennett, a philosopher who applies Darwinian evolutionary theory not just to species, but to ideas and religious beliefs. Dennett believes religion has outlived its usefulness, hampers rational thought and damages our species. Along with Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens, Dennett is seen as a founding father of the new atheism. But do humans want to live in a world where atheism rules and religion is dead?

(Image: Daniel Dennett, Credit: Steven J Eliopoulos, www.GravityBoston.com)

David Hare20110903

has spent his life making things up in search of the truth.

With his prolific output of plays and screenplays, he has become one of the most influential chroniclers of modern Britain - a left-leaning playwright whose anger has been variously directed at deceitful politicians, cynical media barons and grasping bankers.

He accepted a knighthood from Tony blair, then excoriated him for his role in the Iraq war.

Now that Britain is back in conservative hands, does Sir David Hare still have fire in his belly?

David Hare speaks about how finding the limits of your own imagination can be painful.

David Haye20111210

Heavyweight champion of the world used to be one of the most coveted, glamorous titles in international sport.

Now, it's a label which attracts widespread cynicism and indifference.

Why?

David Haye should know.

He was, until last summer, holder of one version of the world heavyweight title, known as much for his trash talk outside the ring as for his prowess inside it.

If you look beyond the hype is boxing a sport in terminal decline?

(Image: David Haye.

Credit: All Sport/Getty Images)

Stephen Sackur asks David Haye if boxing is a sport in terminal decline.

David Keith - Environmental Scientist20111116

Can we combat global warming by altering the way the sea, clouds and atmosphere work?

Few branches of science divide opinion as sharply as that championed by Professor David Keith.

He's one of the pre-eminent geo-engineers striving to find new ways to combat global warming, by altering the way the sea, the clouds and the atmosphere work.

This isn't a replacement, he says, for the political drive to reduce emissions.

But is geo-engineering a cost-effective, emergency stop-gap, before the effects of climate change become irreversible, or a dangerous leap into the unknown?

David Keith - Environmental Scientist20111117

Can we combat global warming by altering the way the sea, clouds and atmosphere work?

David Miliband - Uk Foreign Secretary 2007-20102012022920120301

Politics can be a cruel business. No one knows that better than Britain's former foreign secretary David Miliband.

He was hot favourite to lead the UK's Labour party after its dismal 2010 election defeat, but he lost out to his younger brother Ed.

His steady rise to the political summit was halted, but he remains a Labour MP, and he still makes carefully timed interventions in foreign policy and national politics.

Without the trappings of power, how does David Miliband maximise his influence?

Stephen Sackur talks to Britain's former foreign secretary and Labour MP David Miliband.

David Nott - Conflict Zone Surgeon20160824

Stephen Sackur talks to the British surgeon David Nott who has spent decades working in conflict zones, including Syria. Amid the appalling toll of civilian death in Syria the loss of hundreds of doctors and medical staff stands out as an especially grievous loss. Many have been bombed in their clinics and hospitals. Now he is focused on training doctors to work in conflict conditions; but does Syria tell us medical personnel can no longer expect any protection in war?

(Photo: British surgeon David Nott in the Hardtalk studio)

British surgeon David Nott has spent decades in conflict zones including Syria

Deputy Information Minister, Zimbabwe - Supa Mandiwanzira20140516

State coffers are virtually empty, what next for Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe's fortunes have for three decades been tied to one man - President Robert Mugabe. Now, once again, Zimbabwe is staring economic catastrophe in the face, less than a year after the ruling Zanu PF won another term in power. State coffers are virtually empty and potential investors are being scared away by seizures of land and foreign owned assets. Hardtalk speaks to Supa Mandiwanzira, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Information Minister. How does he justify being part of a government that is accused of cronyism, rigging elections and of squandering public funds for the benefit of an elite, whilst impoverishing the many?

Deputy Leader Of Germany's Afd Party Beatrix Von Storch20160601

Stephen Sackur speaks to Beatrix von Storch, the AFD Alternative for Germany deputy leader and member of the European Parliament. The far right is on the rise in Germany- opinion polls and recent regional elections suggest the AFD is winning significant support with its anti-immigration, populist message. The country's mainstream politicians have responded by branding the party xenophobic and dangerous. Could the AFD shatter Germany's post war political consensus?

(Photo: Beatrix von Storch)

Beatrix von Storch, deputy leader of the German AFD party on immigration and the EU

Deputy Prime Minister Libya, 2011-2012 - Dr Mustafa Abushagur20160520

Stephen Sackur talks to Libyan politician Mustafa Abushagur, briefly prime minister in 2012 and a backer of the unity government. Over the last five years the Libyan state has been shattered into fragments - now it has a UN backed government committed to restoring unity. But the political scene remains confused and jihadists from Islamic state pose a continued threat. Is Libya beyond salvation?

(Photo: Dr Mustafa Abushagur in the Hardtalk studio)

Libyan politician Mustafa Abushagur on the challenges of uniting a fragmenting state

Deputy Prime Minister, Kurdistan Regional Government - Qubad Talabani20161209

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The Kurds are key fighters in the war against so-called Islamic State. But does their ambition for independence threaten even more instability in Iraq?

Does Kurdish ambition for independence threaten more instability in Iraq?

Director Of Europol - Rob Wainwright20160210

Stephen Sackur speaks to Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol, the EU's joint policing agency tasked with enhancing Europe's response to major cross border security and criminal threats. So-called Islamic state has the intent and the capacity to mount major terrorist attacks in the heart of Europe - does Europe have the right tools to effectively counter the challenge? With the EU's record on external border security and intelligence sharing patchy at best, is Europol just a sticking plaster on a gaping wound?

(Photo: Europol Director Rob Wainwright speaks during the Global Counterterrorism Forum, The Hague,2016. Credit: Jerry Lampen/AFP/Getty Images)

Does Europol have the powers it needs to defeat cross border terror and organised crime?

Director Of The Future Of Humanity Institute - Nick Bostrom20150914

The guests on Hardtalk are people who do much to shape our world. More often than not they are a testament to the talent and potential of the human species. But what if we are living on the cusp of a new era shaped not by mankind but by machines using Artificial Intelligence to build a post-human world. Science fiction? Not according to scientist and philosopher Nick Bostrom who runs the Future of Humanity Institute. Stephen Sackur asks, when truly intelligent machines arrive, what happens to us?

(Photo: Nick Bostrom, director of The Future of Humanity Institute)

Are we on the cusp of an era shaped by Artificial Intelligence?

Dmitry Peskov20151026

Stephen Sackur speaks to the spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov. Depending on who you believe, Russia’s military intervention in Syria is a boost for the forces of legitimacy in the face of terrorism, or a foolish gamble which will further destabilise Syria and backfire on the Kremlin. Does Russia’s desire to shore up the Assad regime risk a dangerous new confrontation with the United States?

(Photo: Dmitry Peskov. Credit: Getty Images)

Does Russia’s desire to shore up the Assad regime risk a confrontation with the US?

Don Mclean, Singer Songwriter20150826

Tim Franks talks to the artist who penned 'American Pie' about his most famous song.

Tim Franks speaks to Don McLean - the self-confessed "accidental" pop star whose first unlikely hit became one of the defining songs of the century. In April, the manuscript to American Pie was auctioned for more than a million dollars. McLean has always resisted analysing his famous lyrics too closely but what does he have to say now about the American music industry, and the American dream?

Doreen Lawrence2013012320130124 (WS)

Dr. Steve Peters - Psychiatrist Working In Elite Sport2012062520120626

Stephen Sackur talks to psychiatrist Steve Peters, consultant to British Olympic cycling.

With the London Olympics just weeks away, athletes are completing their final preparations - and that means fine tuning the mind as well as the body.

In elite sport the title 'head coach' increasingly refers to the specialist hired to get inside the athlete's head to instil a winning mentality.

Stephen Sackur talks to the psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters - a consultant to the British Olympic cycling team and a highly prized adviser to a host of other famous sporting names. Is winning really all in the mind?

(Image: Steve Peters speaks to the British cyclist Victoria Pendleton during the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classic in February, 2011. Credit: Getty Images).

Economic Historian - Deirdre Mccloskey20140704

Is rising inequality the sickness that could kill capitalism?

Is rising inequality the sickness that could yet kill capitalism? It's a debate currently raging in politics as well as economics. President Obama says income inequality is the defining challenge of our time. The influential American economist Deirdre McCloskey thinks that is to misunderstand 300 years of global growth and enrichment. She focuses on the enduring power of innovation, rather than wealth distribution. So is it ok for the rich to enjoy a party to which no one else is invited?

(Photo: American economist Deirdre McCloskey)

Economist - Jeremy Rifkin20140811

Are we entering a post-capitalist age?

What if we lived in a radically different world? An internet-driven, smart world where individuals and communities generate their own free energy, produce and share the things they need and build an economy defined by collaboration, not competition.

For economist and author Jeremy Rifkin, this is no utopian fantasy - it is the unfolding story of the next century. Are we really entering a post-capitalist age?

Image: Jeremy Rifkin in 2012. Credit: Getty

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister - Guillaume Long20160622

Zeinab Badawi talks to Guillaume Long, the newly-appointed foreign minister of Ecuador. It is four years since Julian Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims, which he denies. Mr Assange says that he could end up being sent to the United States and put on trial for espionage, on the grounds of the publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents on his website, WikiLeaks. But can Ecuador claim to uphold transparency and freedom of expression, when its own government stands accused of systematically violating press freedoms at home?

(Photo: Ecuadorean Foreign Affairs Ministers Guillaume Long at a press conference in Quito, 2016. Credit: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP)

Can Ecuador claim to uphold transparency and freedom of expression?

Egemen Bagis - Turkey's Chief Eu Negotiator2012030220120303

Can Turkey shape events beyond its borders? Stephen Sackur talks with Egemen Bagis.

Turkey is a rising power in a strategically vital region, but does it have the ability to shape events beyond its borders?

Officials in Ankara would like to see Turkey inside the EU and providing leadership in the Middle East, but both goals remain elusive.

Stephen Sackur talks to Egemen Bagis, Turkey's minister for Europe.

His country is flexing some diplomatic muscle, but is it having the desired effect.

Egyptian Author And Activist - Ahdaf Soueif20131009

Activist Ahdaf Soueif is trying to re-open the road to revolution. But is it too late?

Is it time to mourn the death of Egypt’s revolutionary dream? Civilians lead the government but real power lies with the armed forces. Emergency law, military courts, the outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood - the list of repressive measures invites comparison with the darkest days of the Mubarak era. Hardtalk speaks to Egyptian writer and political activist Ahdaf Soueif. She is part of a movement trying to re-open the road to revolution. But is it too late?

England T20 Cricketer - Michael Yardy20160606

Stephen Sackur talks to Michael Yardy, former top England one day cricketer and world cup winner in 2010, whose international career ended as a result of mental illness. Elite professional sport is a well-rewarded but unforgiving business. Top performers need a particular kind of mental strength. What happens when they lose it - when self-doubt and depression kick in? Why have so many cricketers suffered from mental torment?

(Photo: Michael Yardy of Sussex celebrates his century during the LV County Championship match between Lancashire and Sussex at Old Trafford, 2014. Credit: Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Former top England cricketer Michael Yardy discusses his mental illness

Eric Cantor - Former House Majority Leader, Us Republican Party20151021

Stephen Sackur asks Eric Cantor, what on earth is going on inside the Republican party?

Is the US Republican Party serious about winning back the White House in 2016? The front runner to win the party's presidential nomination is Donald Trump - a billionaire businessman turned celebrity who despises the Republican establishment. Stephen Sackur speaks to Eric Cantor who has long been a pillar of that establishment. He was the number two Republican in the House of Representatives until he got sensationally dumped in a primary contest. What on earth is going on inside the Republican party?

Eu Migration Commissioner - Dimitris Avramopoulos20151007

Will Europe ever agree on how to tackle the migration crisis?

Stephen Sackur talks to the EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos. Europe is still scrambling to find an effective response to the migration challenge, and every day the problem gets bigger. While the Germans build reception centres, other EU Governments focus on razor wire fences and gunboats on the Mediterranean. So what comes first, humanity or security?

(Photo: Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Executive Committee, Us President-elect’s Transition Team - Anthony Scaramucci20161125

What are Team Trump’s priorities for the United States?

What are Team Trump’s priorities for the United States? Wherever you live in the world, the election of Donald Trump as America's next President matters. The next leader of the world's most powerful nation promises to take the US, and by extension global politics and economics, in a very different direction. Stephen Sackur speaks to Anthony Scaramucci - a New York hedge fund boss, a Trump ally, and right now a member of the President-elect’s transition team.

Executive Director, Iea - Dr Fatih Birol20160525

Stephen Sackur speaks to Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency and one of the world's most influential observers of the global energy market. The price of oil has more than halved over the past two years. That's great news if you're an oil consumer but it's alarming if your priority is to wean the world’s economy off carbon emitting fossil fuels. Does cheap oil make decarbonising the world economy even more difficult?

(Photo: Dr Fatih Birol in the Hardtalk studio)

Does cheap oil make decarbonising the world economy even more difficult?

Extratime: Jonathan Edwards - Olympic Triple Jump Gold Medallist20120723

Rob Bonnet speaks to Olympic triple jump gold medallist, Jonathan Edwards.

More than 10,000 athletes are about to compete at the London Olympics.

The spotlight will certainly be on them but one former champion, Jonathan Edwards, will take a particular interest.

He won Olympic gold in the triple jump and his world record in the event has stood secure for 17 years.

On present form no triple jumper to compete in London looks close to breaking it.

He was also part of London's bid when the city was awarded the Games in 2005.

Now he's the athletes' representative on the Games organising committee overseeing preparations for the athletes.

London is almost at the start line but what did it take to get this far?

Jonathan Edwards talks to Rob Bonnet.

(Image: Jonathan Edwards. Credit: AP Photo/Herbert Knosowski)

Extratime: Nawal El Moutawakel -member Of The International Olympic Committee2012072720120728 (WS)

International Olympic Committee member talks to Rob Bonnet.

At the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 a diminutive Moroccan runner named Nawal El Moutawakel won the 400 metres hurdles and so became the first Arab and Muslim woman to win Olympic gold.

She says her victory changed her life forever and propelled her towards a career in sports administration and as a passionate advocate of women in sport, especially in the Islamic world.

She's now an influential member of the International Olympic Committee.

With current IOC president Jacques Rogge due to step down next year, could she be in line to succeed him?

Nawal El Moutawakel talks to Rob Bonnet.

(Image: Nawal El Moutawakel in 2010. Credit: Getty Images)

Fahd Al Rasheed, Ceo King Abdullah Economic City2016021520160406

HARDtalk speaks to Fahd al Rasheed, CEO of King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah Economic City is a vast construction project on the Red Sea. It is supposed to become one of the world’s biggest ports with a population of 2 million – a new global city for Saudi Arabia. But could the kingdom’s economic problems see this dream turn to dust?

HARDtalk speaks to Fahd al Rasheed, CEO of King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia.

Stephen Sackur speaks with Fahd al Rasheed, CEO of King Abdullah Economic City.

Stephen Sackur speaks with Fahd al Rasheed, CEO of King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah Economic City is a vast construction project on the Red Sea. It is supposed to become one of the world’s biggest ports with a population of 2 million – a new global city for Saudi Arabia. But could the kingdom’s economic problems see this dream turn to dust?

Father Bernard Lynch - Priest And Psychotherapist2013030120130302 (WS)

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Father Bernard Lynch, one of a few openly gay Catholic priests.

The Catholic Church has been rocked by not one but two shock and surprise resignations. First, Pope Benedict steps down after announcing he was too old and infirm for the office. Then Britain's most senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, resigned after allegations - which he contests - of inappropriate behaviour towards priests 30 years ago. His departure has once again put the spotlight on the Catholic Church's attitudes towards homosexuality.

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Father Bernard Lynch, one of a few openly gay Catholic priests. How will the church recover from these embarrassing blows at a time of historic transition?

Fatih Birol € Chief Economist, International Energy Agency2013010920130110 (WS)

Felipe Larrain - Finance Minister Of Chile20120917

Should China's demand for copper cease, what will the effect be on Chile's economy?

Chile's economy is booming, growing at a rate which almost echoes that of China.

While Chile is the world's largest producer of copper, China the biggest importer - a perfect marriage except that China is losing its appetite. So how will Chile cope?

Shaun Ley speaks to the Chilean finance minister, Felipe Larrain, discussing the country's economic future.

(Image: Chile Finance Minister Felipe Larrain. Credit: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

Femi Kuti - Musician And Activist2012070920120710
20120710 (WS)

Zeinab Badawi talks to musician and activist Femi Kuti, son of the legendary Fela Kuti.

Zeinab Badawi talks to the musician and political activist Femi Kuti, son of the late, legendary afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.

As Africa's most populous nation and one of its biggest oil producers, Nigeria is a giant on the African stage. But in terms of prosperity it has never fulfilled the expectations of its people.

Femi Kuti is a constant thorn in the side of the Nigerian authorities and uses his songs to criticise government and speak up on behalf of the poor and dispossessed.

But with fantastic rates of growth in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa, is Femi Kuti being overly pessimistic about Nigeria's prospects?

(Image: Femi Kuti performs on the stage in 2008. Credit: Stephane de Sakutin / AFP / Getty Images)

Feminist Activist And Author- Gloria Steinem20130816

Hardtalk speaks to one of the most influential women in the history of the modern feminist movement. Gloria Steinem grew up in an America where women were expected to put husband and children first. But that was never her intention. She forged a successful career as a writer. She co-founded Ms magazine and she became one of the world’s best known campaigners for gender equality. So how much of what she hoped for and fought for, has been achieved?

Fgm Activists - Fuambai Ahmadu And Nimco Ali20160111

Should female genital mutilation have a place in the 21st Century?

Depending on your point of view you can call it female circumcision, cutting, or more graphically female genital mutilation. But whatever the label it's become a hugely contentious practice in countries across Africa and beyond. Stephen Sackur speaks to two guests with first-hand experience - Fuambai Ahmadu is co-founder of the group African Women are Free to Choose, and Nimco Ali is co-creator of the Daughters of Eve movement. Should FGM have a place in the 21st Century?

(Photo: Left to right, Fuambai Ahmadu and Nimco Ali)

Fifa Presidential Candidate, Tokyo Sexwale20151216

Tokyo Sexwale served thirteen years in jail on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela. As well as a career in politics he went into business and through interests in mining, gold and diamonds became one of the richest black South Africans. Now he is among five candidates vying to succeed FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Can he reinvent himself and win this top football post? Or could past controversies damage his chances?

Can the businessman and politician Tokyo Sexwale, replace Sepp Blatter at FIFA?

Film Director - Mohamed Diab20161230

What has happened to the spirit of the Tahrir revolution?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Egyptian film director, Mohamed Diab. His new film, Eshtebak, or Clash, paints a remarkable picture of the tumult in Egypt which led to the military takeover in 2013. What has happened to the spirit of the Tahrir revolution?

(Photo: Egyptian director Mohamed Diab (R) poses after receiving the silver Tanit award for his film Clash at the 27th Carthage Film Festival, 2016, Tunisia. Credit: Fethi Belaid/AFP)

Film Director - Paul Greengrass20131018

How does the British director juggle truth, art and entertainment?

What do we want from the movies we see? Judging from the global box office returns the answer is escapism, superheroes and awesome special effects. But that’s not how all A-list Hollywood directors make their name. Hardtalk speaks to Paul Greengrass who makes taut, tense films that aren’t always easy to watch. His biggest hits were the Bourne movies starring Matt Damon, his most intense film was probably United 93, based on the events of 9/11, and his new release is about Somali pirates. How does he juggle truth, art and entertainment?

Filmmaker - Paul Refsdal20160810

What draws people to jihad?

French newspapers will no longer publish pictures of the perpetrators of jihadist atrocities - in an effort to ensure they're neither glorified, nor humanised. HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to a journalist who sees his mission differently. Norwegian Paul Refsdal has spent thirty years filming up close and personal from inside militant groups around the world, often at great personal risk - he was held hostage after filming with the Taliban in 2009. Last year he spent weeks with a small group of would be suicide bombers in Syria. Do we really need to see the Wests enemies this close up?

Finance Minister Of Cyprus - Harris Georgiades20140124

Austerity, poverty and a shrinking economy - can Georgiades be optimistic for Cyprus?

When Harris Georgiades became Finance Minister of Cyprus a year ago some said he had been handed poisoned chalice. He has had to preside over tough austerity measures that are driving poverty levels in the country. The economy is shrinking, unemployment will perhaps reach 20% this year and wages are being slashed. These were the tough conditions of a 10 billion Euro bailout granted last year with the Troika of the European Central Bank, the EU and the IMF to avoid a collapse of the banking system in Cyprus. So why then does the Finance Minister believe that the economy is proving more resilient than expected? Is he being too optimistic?

Picture: Harris Georgiades, Credit: AP Photo/Petros Karadjias

Finance Minister Of India - Palaniappan Chidambaram20140127

India has experienced unprecedented growth. Why does poverty persist?

Picture: Palaniappan Chidambaram, Credit: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

Foreign Minister Of Macedonia - Nikola Poposki20150904

What can governments like Macedonia's do to resolve the current migrants crisis?

The migrant crisis is pushing EU countries into trying to come up with solutions that are fair for member states and refugees fleeing conflict. There is evidence that people smugglers from the western Balkans are involved in the movement of thousands of migrants and are increasingly favouring land routes through Balkan states like Macedonia. Hardtalk asks the Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki what can governments like his do to resolve the current crisis?

(Photo: Macedonia's Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Foreign Minister, Estonia - Urmas Paet20140523

How much carrot and how much stick should the EU wield when dealing with Moscow?

The crisis in Ukraine has put the spotlight on the relationship between Russia and the EU. How much carrot and how much stick should the EU wield when it comes to dealing with Moscow? The Baltic States, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were once part of the Soviet Union and all share a border with the Russian Federation. Hardtalk speaks to Urmas Paet, Foreign Minister of Estonia. Why does Estonia think that getting tough with President Putin is the most effective way to contain Russia?

Picture: Urmas Paet, Credit: Ilmars Znotins/AFP/Getty Images

Foreign Minister, Hungary - Pter Szijjrt20150925

How well is Hungary handling the migration crisis on its borders?

HARDtalk is in Hungary for an exclusive interview with the Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó. Hungary is facing a migration crisis; already this year nearly 250,000 migrants have entered the country. Hungary’s response has included razor wire, tear gas and threats of imprisonment. The Prime Minister says that the refugees are a threat to security and cultural identity but is Hungary defending or betraying European values?

(Photo: Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (L) welcoming to Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó prior their talks in Kiev. Credit: Andrew Kravchenko/AFP/Getting Images)

Foreign Policy Adviser To The President Of Poland - Krzysztof Szczerski20160219

How will a newly assertive Poland play its hand in Europe?

Does Poland’s recently elected conservative, nationalist Government represent a threat to European values of freedom and democracy? The European Commission is investigating that after controversial media and court reforms prompted critics to condemn the 'Putinisation of Poland'. Krzysztof Szczerski is the foreign policy adviser to the Polish president. How will a newly assertive Poland play its hand in Europe?

(Photo: Krzysztof Szczerski on Hardtalk)

Former Adviser To President Obama - Peter Blair Henry20130909

Is talk of a shift in economic power between rich and emerging nations convincing?

Economists have spent years bemoaning the long-term stagnation of the advanced economies and drawing unflattering comparisons with the dynamic growth in the emerging economies, but is it time to change the tune? The US economic motor is showing signs of life, just as nervousness is sweeping across financial markets from Jakarta to Brasilia. Today's guest is leading American economist and former Obama adviser Peter Blair Henry. He has just written a book about the turnaround in relations between rich and emerging nations but is it already out of date?

Former Al Jazeera English Bureau Chief - Mohamed Fahmy20151005

Mohamed Fahmy, the now freed former Al Jazeera English bureau chief in Cairo

In too many countries around the world independent journalists pay a high price for simply doing their job. They risk intimidation, imprisonment or worse. Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Mohamed Fahmy, the former Al Jazeera English bureau chief in Cairo who was convicted and imprisoned on terrorist charges by the Egyptian government. In his first broadcast interview since being pardoned, Stephen asks him what his message is now he is free to speak.

(Photo: Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy gives an interview in Cairo after his release from an Egyptian jail. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Former Bishop Of Edinburgh - Richard Holloway20131227

Did his own loss of faith betray those he once preached to?

The former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway, entered a seminary at the age of 14, intent on becoming a monk. He rose to be the leader of the Anglican Church in Scotland. But he gradually lost faith in many of the certainties of Christianity, including the existence of God. He finally resigned from the church, accusing it of cruelly persecuting gay people. So did his own loss of faith betray those he once preached to?

Former Captive Of The Lord's Resistance Army In Uganda - Victoria Nyanjura20161121

Victoria Nyanjura talks about her eight years as a captive of the Lord's Resistance Army

Victoria Nyanjura endured eight years as a captive of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda. In 1996 she was only 14 years old when she, along with more than 100 other schoolgirls, were taken captive by the LRA. Over the next eight years she was beaten, raped and had two children before eventually escaping in 2004. Now she still lives in Uganda as an advocate for women and children affected by war. She speaks to HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur about the hardships she endured and her view of the former LRA commander, Dominic Ongwen. He is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity and is due to go on trial in December 2016 at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Former Cia Agent - Sabrina De Sousa20160801

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Sabrina de Sousa, an ex-CIA spy who faces extradition from Portugal to Italy to serve a prison sentence for her alleged role in a CIA extraordinary rendition case when an Egyptian terror suspect was seized in Milan 13 years ago. She denies involvement. Last year she visited Portugal against official advice and was detained by the authorities there. She is awaiting extradition to Italy where she faces a prison sentence. Has she been abandoned by the CIA or is she the agent of her own misfortune?

(Photo: Sabrina de Sousa)

What is the legacy of the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme?

Former Cia Intelligence Officer - John Kiriakou20160125

Stephen Sackur talks to John Kiriakou, the former CIA agent who played a key role in anti-terror operations after 9/11 and later went public with the truth about water-boarding. He was imprisoned for leaking the names of two CIA agents and is currently on federal probation. He says he is a truth teller scapegoated by the US Government - but he betrayed a trust - should that carry a heavy price?

(Photo: John Kiriakou is honored with the First Amendment Award. Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Former CIA agent John Kiriakou went public with the truth about water-boarding

Former Cia Intelligence Officer - John Kiriakou20160627

Stephen Sackur talks to John Kiriakou, the former CIA agent who played a key role in anti-terror operations after 9-11 and later went public with the truth about waterboarding. He was imprisoned for leaking the names of two CIA agents and is currently on federal probation. He says he is a truth teller scapegoated by the US government; but he betrayed a trust, and shouldn't that carry a heavy price?

(Photo: John Kiriakou is honored with the First Amendment Award, 2015, Beverly Hills. Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

John Kiriakou went public with the truth about waterboarding - should that carry a price?

Former Deputy Defence Minister, Israel - Danny Danon20140725

How does Danny Danon justify the high Palestinian death toll?

Israel says its current campaign in Gaza is in response to rocket strikes from Hamas militants and is aimed at destroying illicit tunnels Hamas uses to smuggle arms. In more than two weeks of conflict around 600 Palestinians - mostly civilians - have been killed and nearly 4000 wounded. The UN Human Rights Commissioner says Israel may have committed war crimes. About 30 Israelis have died - nearly all of them soldiers.

Hardtalk speaks to Danny Danon a member of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party. He was dismissed as deputy defence minister earlier this month for accusing the Prime Minister of being too weak in his Gaza campaign. How does he justify the high Palestinian death toll?

(Photo: Danny Danon, Former Deputy Defence Minister, Israel)

Former Deputy Prime Minister, Uk - Lord Heseltine20160615

Stephen Sackur talks to the former deputy prime minister and passionate Remain advocate Lord Heseltine. Britain's referendum campaign on whether to stay in or leave the European Union is not going quite as Prime Minister, David Cameron, would have wished. He wants a convincing win for the Remain camp on 23 June but the polls suggest it will be very close. Are the Remainers beginning to worry?

(Photo: Former Conservative Cabinet Minister Michael Heseltine attends the funeral for Tony Benn, 2014. Credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Lord Heseltine is passionate Remain advocate. Are the Remainers beginning to worry?

Former Director Of Intelligence For The Ira - Kieran Conway20161102

How does Kieran Conway justify his past involvement with the IRA?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Kieran Conway, the former director of intelligence for the IRA. He joined the group in 1970 and was part of a unit in England which engaged in armed robbery to help fund the organisation. He spent time in prison in Northern Ireland and soon after his release in 1974 was put in charge of IRA intelligence. Just weeks later bombs planted by the IRA killed 21 people in two pubs in Birmingham, England. What does he know about those responsible for the bombings and how does he justify his past?

(Photo: Kieran Conway)

Former Director Of The Cia - General Michael Hayden20160224

Stephen Sackur talks to the former director of the CIA, General Michael Hayden

Stephen Sackur talks to General Michael Hayden, who was director of the CIA from 2006 to 2009 and prior to that Director of the US National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005.

(Photo: General Michael Hayden, CIA director, 2006 - 2009. Credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Education Minister, Nigeria - Obiageli Ezekwesili20140723

Has Nigeria failed the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram and their families?

A few months ago international attention was fixed on the remote forests of north-eastern Nigeria - believed to be where 200 kidnapped schoolgirls were being held by Boko Haram militants. The girls have now been missing for 100 days, Boko Haram's terror campaign continues, but the media focus has shifted elsewhere. Hardtalk speaks to Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former Nigerian minister and one of the leaders of the Bring Back our Girls campaign. Has their country failed these girls and their families?

(Photo: Obiageli Ezekwesili addresses a sit-in demonstration organized by Abuja's Bring Back Our Girls. Credit: Reuters)

Former Governor Of The Bank Of England - Lord King20160314

Why does Mervyn King believe another crisis is looming?

Eight years after the financial meltdown which rocked global capitalism, the foundations of the world economy seems disturbingly fragile. Hardtalk speaks to the renowned economist and former Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King or Lord King. He was a key player in efforts to save the banking system from collapse in the dark days of 2008. Why does he believe another crisis is looming?

(Photo: Lord Mervyn King speaks at the'Lord Mayor's Dinner to the Bankers and Merchants of the City of London, 2013. Credit: Getty Images)

Former Judge, South Africa Constitutional Court - Albie Sachs20171027

He says the post-apartheid constitution is one of the world's best. Why do some disagree?

Albie Sachs is a survivor. He survived imprisonment, exile and being blown up by the country's security forces. He helped write the post-apartheid constitution and thinks it's one of the world's best. So why do others, especially the young, say "the constitution is against us, especially when you are poor"? HARDtalk’s Shaun Ley speaks to the former South African Constitutional Court Judge as South Africa's ruling party, the ANC, chooses a successor for the beleaguered president Jacob Zuma in December. Corruption allegations, denied by the President, continue to swirl, yet he's survived them all. How does Albie Sachs view his country today?

Former Labour Cabinet Minister - Ed Balls20160912

How does a political heavyweight make sense of failure?

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Ed Balls, former Labour MP and UK cabinet minister. When elected politicians are booted out by the voters there's no safety net to soften their fall. And Ed Balls has the bruises to prove it. He was one of the key players of the UK Labour Party's era of political dominance under those partners and rivals Blair and Brown. He was a formidable political operator whose ambition was to lead his party. He failed in that, and last year lost his seat as the unravelling of the Labour Party began in earnest. How does a political heavyweight make sense of failure?

Former Labour Government Minister, Uk - Lord Mandelson20151109

What does Jeremy Corbyn mean for Labour and for Britain?

Jeremy Corbyn is the most unlikely leader of one of Britain’s biggest political parties in living memory. He was elected leader of the Labour Party by a party electorate swollen by an army of new, mostly young radical members. He is a genuine socialist, anti-capitalist, anti-war; and anti just about everything that Tony Blair stood for. Stephen Sackur speaks to Lord Mandelson, one of the architects of Blair’s New Labour project. What does Jeremy Corbyn mean for Labour and for Britain?

(Photo: Lord Peter Mandleson attends a service of thanksgiving for Lady Soames at Westminster Abbey. Credit: Getty Images)

Former National Security Advisor Of Iraq - Mowaffak Al-rubaie20141107

Who can rescue Iraq and defeat the extremists of the self-proclaimed Islamic State?

Who can rescue Iraq and defeat the extremists of the self-proclaimed Islamic State? The militants have seized about a quarter of the territory of Iraq and there are near-daily reports of human rights abuses and deaths.

The crisis at the heart of the political leadership in Baghdad means a united Iraqi response has so far been lacking. Hardtalk speaks to Baghdad MP Mowaffak al-Rubaie - former national security adviser to Iraq.

Is the new Shia-led government under Prime Minister Abadi better able to combat the extremists?

Former Nato Supreme Allied Commander, Europe - Admiral James Stavridis20151118

World leaders at the G20 Summit in Turkey have said efforts to combat terrorism must be intensified after the tragic events in Paris - the latest in a series of attacks claimed by the so-called Islamic State. After the terrorist attacks France launched massive air strikes on IS strongholds in Syria. HARDtalk speaks to retired US Admiral James Stavridis, who was NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe until 2013. He believes there should be 'meaningful action on a significant scale' by NATO. But are there limits to what military operations can achieve in fighting terrorism?

Should NATO join the coalition bombing IS in Syria after the terrorist attacks in Paris?

Former Polish Foreign Minister - Radek Sikorski20160629

Stephen Sackur talks to former Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski about Britain's Brexit vote. An awful lot of powerful people in Britain and the rest of the European Union have joined the 'don't panic' chorus. But how persuasive are they. How confident can we be of the UK’s future, or indeed the EU's? Could British voters have kickstarted the unravelling of the EU?

(Photo: Former Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski. Credit: John Thys/AFP)

Could British voters have kickstarted the unravelling of the EU?

Former Prime Minister Of Russia - Mikhail Kasyanov20141119

Do most Russians remain confident their president knows what he is doing?

Just how far is Vladimir Putin prepared to push, in his high stakes confrontation with the West over Ukraine? New allegations of Russian military incursions prompted Ukraine's president to talk of all-out war, and western leaders to threaten more sanctions. Hardtalk speaks to Mikhail Kasyanov, who was Russian prime minister in Putin's first presidential term, and is now a diehard opponent. Do most Russians remain confident their president knows what he is doing?

(Photo: Mikhail Kasyanov. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Former Speechwriter For Us President George W. Bush - David Frum20160617

After the worst mass shooting in US history at a nightclub in Orlando, presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are clashing over the causes. Conservatives used to be united by their shared attitude to god, guns and gays; confident warriors in an ideological battle with liberals. Orlando is another test for those beliefs. Former speechwriter for US president George W. Bush, and lifelong conservative David Frum, thinks the triumph of Trump proves that the power of conservatism is crumbling. Should Republicans embrace change? And should they even consider embracing Hillary Clinton?

After the shooting in Orlando, will US conservatives rethink gay rights and gun control?

Former Ubs Trader - Kweku Adoboli20160914

Rogue trader Kweku Adoboli lost Swiss Bank UBS $2.3bn. Have bankers learnt their lesson?

Dubbed the biggest rogue trader in British history, Kweku Adoboli ran up $2.3bn of losses for the Swiss bank UBS. He has spent four years in prison for fraud and now faces possible deportation from Britain back to Ghana. He maintains he was not motivated by greed but that the system put unbearable pressures on him to make big returns. He warns that the culture of the banking industry has not changed very much which means it could easily happen again.

(Photo: Kweku Adoboli arrives at Southwark Crown Court on 20 September 2012 in London. Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Former Uk Foreign Minister - Jack Straw2016012920160130 (WS)

What will be the result of lifting sanctions on Iran?

After the lifting of all sanctions relating to Iran's nuclear programme, President Hassan Rouhani said a 'golden page' in his country's history had begun. Hardtalk speaks to former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw who has been a long-time supporter of closer ties with Iran and has visited the country many times. What is his response to critics who believe the current rapprochement will serve to bolster the hard-liners in Tehran, exacerbate regional rivalries, and fuel terror and instability in the Middle East?

(Photo: Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw arrives at Milbank Studios in 2015. Credit: Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Former Uk Labour Politician - Derek Hatton20160829

Is British politics returning to the ideological clashes of the 1980s?

HARDtalk’s Shaun Ley speaks to former UK Labour politician Derek Hatton. In the blue corner, a formidable woman Prime Minister with an enviable opinion poll lead; in the red corner, a left-wing leader of the opposition seen by many on his own side as unelectable. It's how things look today as they did in the mid-1980s when Derek Hatton was the poster boy of Britain's far left. Confronting Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher over funding for his home city of Liverpool, he gambled by threatening 30,000 council workers with redundancy and lost. He was expelled by the Labour Party. Now Jeremy Corbyn is leader, Derek Hatton wants to come back. Is British politics returning to the ideological clashes of the 1980s?

Former Us Democrat Congressman - Anthony Weiner20160302

Anthony Weiner's career was destroyed by two bizarre sex scandals. Why did he do it?

American politics currently has more unlikely story lines than anything you might see in New York’s Broadway theatre district. The rise of Donald Trump is one illustration of the depth of public frustration with politics as usual. Stephen Sackur talks to Anthony Weiner who was a rising star of the Democratic Party in New York. His career was destroyed by not one but two bizarre sex scandals. Why did he push the self-destruct button?

(Photo: Anthony Weiner, former US Democrat Congressman, 2013. Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Former World Champion Boxer Chris Eubank20160530

In March British boxer Nick Blackwell almost died after a bout with Chris Eubank junior. HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to Chris Eubank senior who now manages his son.

HARDtalk speaks to Chris Eubank who was a super-middleweight world champion.

Founder Of Affective Computing, Mit - Rosalind Picard20131025

Imagine a world where robots can think and feel like humans - Hardtalk speaks to pioneering American scientist Professor Rosalind Picard, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who has advanced the capability of computers to recognise human emotions. In the future, could robots fitted with intelligent computers perform tasks such as caring for the elderly, or fight as soldiers on the battlefield and, if so, what are the ethical implications?

France's Secretary Of State For European Affairs Harlem Desir2016012220160123 (WS)

Stephen Sackur talks to Harlem Desir, France's Secretary of State for European Affairs. Has France drawn the right lessons from the recent attacks on Paris?

Francoise Barre-sinoussi - President Elect, International Aids Society20120608

Could we soon see a cure for HIV/Aids? Francoise Barre-Sinoussi thinks so.

Could we soon see a cure for HIV/Aids? Francoise Barre-Sinoussi thinks so. She's the Nobel Prize-winner who helped first identify the virus 30 years ago.

She argues that the need to pour money into fighting one of the world's most deadly diseases is as great as ever. Already nearly 30 million have died from it.

But with budgets being cut, can we afford more expensive research?

(Image: Francoise Barre-Sinoussi Credit: Getty Images).

Freedom And Justice Party Mp, Egypt - Abdul Mawgoud Dardery20130916

What now for the Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party?

What now for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party? Rarely has the fall from power of a party been so quick, dramatic and violent. Since President Morsi’s removal by the army, thousands of the Brotherhood’s members and supporters have been arrested, including most of its senior leaders. Hardtalk speaks to Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, a member of the now suspended parliament. What is the Brotherhood’s next move?

French Fashion Designer - Jean Paul Gaultier20140425

Have Jean Paul Gaultier's designs contributed to the objectification of women?

Hardtalk speaks to the French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier who was known as the 'enfant terrible' of the fashion world for his witty and daring designs. Now in his 60s, is he still as iconoclastic as ever? And, as an exhibition of his best known works continues at the Barbican Arts Centre in London, how does he answer criticisms that some of his designs, like corset dresses and cone bras, contribute to the sexual objectification of women?

French Minister Of Economy - Emmanuel Macron20150928

French Minister of Economy, Emmanuel Macron. A millionaire former banker, he is spearheading reforms that are unpopular with supporters of the ruling socialist party.

(Photo: French Minister of Economy, Emmanuel Macron. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Emmanuel Macron on the economic reforms he is spearheading

Fw De Klerk - President, South Africa (1989-1994)20120418

Stephen Sackur speaks to the South Africa's last white president, FW de Klerk.

Is post-apartheid South Africa losing its status as the dominant power in Sub-Saharan Africa?

As economic growth transforms the continent from Nigeria, to Angola and Uganda, could South Africa be losing its way?

From left and right, black and white, there are questions about the effectiveness of the current generation of ANC leaders.

Stephen Sackur speaks to the country's last white president, FW de Klerk, a co-recipient of the Nobel peace prize with Nelson Mandela.

Is the rainbow nation living up to its promise?

Fw De Klerk - President, South Africa (1989-1994)20120419

Stephen Sackur speaks to the South Africa's last white president, FW de Klerk.

Gareth Thomas - Former Wales Rugby Captain2013032220130323 (WS)

Stephen Sackur speaks to Welsh rugby legend, Gareth Thomas.

Stephen Sackur speaks to Welsh rugby legend, Gareth Thomas. He confronted one of the last great taboos in professional sport by publically revealing his homosexuality, while still playing at the top level. His honesty won him admiration within and far beyond the world of rugby, but has he changed anything for other gay sportsmen? And what other awkward truths lie behind the public mask donned by sport's elite performers?

(Image: Gareth Thomas. Credit: Phil Cole/Getty Images)

Garry Kasparov - Opposition Activist And Former World Chess Champion20130913

Is there any serious challenge to the supremacy of Putinism in Russia?

General Bishop Of The Coptic Orthodox Church In The Uk - Bishop Angaelos20140825

Do Christians have a future in the Arab world?

Do Christians have a future in the Arab world? It's a question raised with a new sense of urgency as an extraordinarily violent brand of jihadi extremism sweeps through Syria and Iraq. Tens of thousands of Christians, along with other minorities, have been forced from their homes, hundreds murdered. Right across the region Christians are fearful. Hardtalk speaks to Bishop Angaelos of the Egyptian Coptic Church about what can be done to protect the Arab Christian tradition.

General Secretary Of The Gmb Union - Paul Kenny20130722

Britain's Labour Party was created from the trade unions and it still gets most of its money from them. But Labour’s leader Ed Miliband - a man who owes his job to the union vote - now wants to loosen those ties. Hardtalk speaks to Paul Kenny, the leader of one of the UK's biggest unions, the GMB (. He says Labour is in danger of losing 90% of his union's funding. So what would a change mean for the Labour Party, the unions and working class representation in Britain?

Photo: Paul Kenny (right) Credit: Getty Images

George Bizos, Former Lawyer To Nelson Mandela20111013

South Africa's constitution is coming under mounting pressure, with politicians warning judges not to defy the will of the people.

Where does that leave the independence of the judiciary?

Stephen Sackur speaks to a man well placed to judge.

In a legal career spanning six decades George Bizos defended Nelson Mandela and a host of ANC leaders and helped draft the post apartheid constitution.

Extraordinary achievements - but are they now under threat?

Stephen Sackur speaks George Bizos, who helped draft the post apartheid constitution.

George Bizos, Former Lawyer To Nelson Mandela20111015

Stephen Sackur speaks George Bizos, who helped draft the post apartheid constitution.

German Defence Minister - Ursula Von Der Leyen20151012

Stephen Sackur speaks with German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen. Vladimir Putin has wrong-footed the West, again. First it was in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, now it is with his rapidly escalating military intervention in Syria. The Obama Administration, Nato, and the EU have issued warnings and condemnations, but does the West have a coherent strategy in Syria. And does the EU have a security strategy at all?

(Photo: German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, 2015. Credit: Getty Images)

Does the West have a coherent strategy in Syria?

Glenn Carle - Former Cia Agent20110813

Extraordinary rendition, secret CIA prisons, enhanced interrogation - what really happened inside the Bush Administrations 'war on terror'?

Stephen Sackur talks to a man who has come out from the shadows to throw an unforgiving light on America's counter terror campaign.

Glenn Carle served the CIA for more than two decades - he was handpicked to interrogate one key al-Qaeda suspect after 9/11.

He's now written about it, and stoked new controversy in Washington, but is he telling the whole truth?

What really happened inside the Bush Administrations 'war on terror'?

Gloria Steinem € Feminist Activist And Author2013022720130228 (WS)

Hardtalk speaks to one of the most influential women in the history of the modern feminist movement. Gloria Steinem grew up in an America where women were expected to put husband and children first.

But that was never her intention. She forged a successful career as a writer. She co-founded Ms magazine; and she became one of the world’s best known campaigners for gender equality.

So how much of what she hoped for and fought for, has been achieved?

(Image: Gloria Steinem. Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Governor Of Rivers State, Nigeria - Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi20130726

What can be done to stop the state's oil being syphoned off and stolen by thieves?

Rivers State is at the heart of Nigeria’s oil industry, which produces 20% of the country's wealth. Yet more than one billion dollars a month is being lost to thieves who syphon it off from remote pipelines. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi is Governor of Rivers State, a key figure in addressing the problem. But he's locked in a highly public dispute with the president, Goodluck Jonathan. Their supporters have had to be separated by the police, and the power struggle has prevented the state assembly from meeting since May. Isn't it time he focused on the day job?

Picture: Children sail past an oil pipeline in Rivers State, Nigeria, Credit: Pius Utomi Ekpei, AFP/Getty Images

Governor, Central Bank Of Nigeria - Lamido Sanusi20131104

The high price of oil is powering Nigeria's economy to new heights. This year, it's predicted to have grown by over six per cent. So why do some experts say it's more vulnerable now than it was during the global economic meltdown of five years ago? The Governor of Nigeria's Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has accused politicians of flooding the country with dollars to lubricate election campaigning for a presidential poll that's still 18 months away. By then, Governor Sanusi's term of office at the bank will be over. Could he have his eye on a new one - in the presidential palace?

Picture: Lamido Sanusi, Credit: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images

Greek Finance Minister, 2009 - 2011, George Papaconstantinou20130823

Greece 'could need another bailout'

Hardtalk speaks to Greece's former finance minister, George Papaconstantinou – the man who was negotiating Greece's bail out until 2011 and, with it, imposing massive cut-backs in his country.

Last month, the Greek parliament voted for him to face criminal charges for allegedly tampering with a list of suspected tax evaders.

The ex-finance minister denies the allegations, and speaking in his first media interview since then, he said he as a “clear conscience?.

Presented by Sarah Montague.

Picture: George Papaconstantinou, Credit: Louisa Couliamaki/AFP/Getty

Greek Former Finance Minister - Yanis Varoufakis20160401

Stephen Sackur talks to the Greek economist and former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.

Stephen Sackur talks to the Greek economist and former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis - one of the political left's most powerful voices. Does Europe need an economic rethink?

(Photo: Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis)

Greek Minister For Public Order - Nikos Dendias20130710

How have the years of austerity impacted on Greek law and order and illegal immigration?

Nikos Dendias, Greece’s minister for public order believes Greece has become the new gateway to Europe, receiving 90% of all illegal immigrants to the EU. He also says the Greek immigration problem may prove even greater than the financial one. How have the years of austerity impacted on Greek society and law and order?

(Image: Greek minister of public order and citizen protection, Nikolaos Dendias. Credit: Associated Press)

Greek Minister Of Labour And Social Security - George Katrougalos20160311

Greek Minister of Labour and Social Security George Katrougalos on the EU migrant deal

For more than five years the words Greece and crisis have been inseparable. The question is not what crisis, but which crisis. Greeks are simultaneously wrestling with the enormous burden posed by mass migration from Turkey, and the effort to secure a long term fix for their stricken, debt-laden economy. Hardtalk speaks to Greece’s Minister for Labour and Social Security George Katrougalos - is there light at the end of the two dark tunnels his country is in?

(Photo: Greece’s Minister for Labour and Social Security George Katrougalos on Hardtalk)

Guitarist And Founder Of Status Quo - Francis Rossi20141031

How come Status Quo are still rocking all over the world?

Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur talks to Francis Rossi, guitarist, singer and founder of the band Status Quo – one of the most popular and durable acts in the history of rock 'n' roll. He’s turned the old mantra “live fast, die young? on its head - he has lived fast and just kept on going. The music business has changed beyond all recognition in the last 40 years – how come Status Quo are still rocking all over the world?

(Photo: Francis Rossi of Status Quo performs for TV show Gabalier: Die Volks-Rock'n'Roll-Show. Credit: Joerg Koch/Getty Images)

Guy Scott – Vice President Of Zambia20120504

Is Africa's economic growth being matched by improved governance?

At last Sub Saharan Africa has a positive economic story to tell, but is it being matched by improved governance?

Are Africa's leaders making the best use of the current surge in economic growth to tackle endemic poverty?

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Guy Scott, recently appointed vice-president of Zambia. He is a trained scientist, an ex-farmer, and he happens to be the most senior white official in post-colonial Africa.

It is tempting to see him as a symbol of a continent no longer trapped in its past, but is it true?

Guy Scott – Vice President Of Zambia20120505

At last Sub Saharan Africa has a positive economic story to tell, but is it being matched by improved governance?

Are Africa's leaders making the best use of the current surge in economic growth to tackle endemic poverty?

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Guy Scott, recently appointed vice-president of Zambia. He is a trained scientist, an ex-farmer, and he happens to be the most senior white official in post-colonial Africa.

It is tempting to see him as a symbol of a continent no longer trapped in its past, but is it true?

Is Africa's economic growth being matched by improved governance?

Guy Scott € Vice President Of Zambia2012050420120505

Is Africa's economic growth being matched by improved governance?

At last Sub Saharan Africa has a positive economic story to tell, but is it being matched by improved governance?

Are Africa's leaders making the best use of the current surge in economic growth to tackle endemic poverty?

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Guy Scott, recently appointed vice-president of Zambia. He is a trained scientist, an ex-farmer, and he happens to be the most senior white official in post-colonial Africa.

It is tempting to see him as a symbol of a continent no longer trapped in its past, but is it true?

Hans-werner Sinn - German Economist2012091920120920 (WS)

Germany's pivotal role in resolving the Eurozone crisis has sparked fierce international discussion but also deep rifts at home.

Katya Adler speaks to Hans-Werner Sinn, one of Germany's most influential and controversial economists, who is at the heart of that debate.

Recently he joined forces with more than 100 colleagues to oppose any move towards Germany paying for the bank debts of other countries and appeared in front of the German constitutional court to criticise the EU bailout fund.

Is he reflecting genuine public concerns or fuelling Germans worst fears?

(Image: German economist Hans-Werner Sinn. Credit: MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/AFP/Getty Images)

Hardtalk - Babatunde Fashola20160803

Stephen Sackur talks to Nigeria's Minister for Power, Works and Housing.

Stephen Sackur talks to Babatunde Fashola, Nigeria's Minister for Power, Works and Housing. Will his country ever realise its full potential?

Hardtalk French Prime Minister Manuel Valls20161114

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur is in Paris for an exclusive interview with the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. His premiership has been turbulent, defined by economic and political woes, Europe's migration crisis and an unprecedented wave of terror on French soil. Exactly a year ago, so-called Islamic State launched a coordinated attack on Paris which killed 130 people. One year on, is France united and stronger, or divided and weaker?

Hardtalk Raul Romeva20150911

Stephen Sackur talks to Spanish politician Raul Romeva who wants an independent Catalonia

HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to a man who is currently involved in an election campaign which promises to have a profound impact on the future of Spain and significant reverberations around the whole of Europe. Raul Romeva is a champion of independence for Catalonia – he leads a coalition of pro-secession parties who are attempting to turn regional elections in late September into a de facto referendum on breaking away from the rest of Spain. It’s a cause which has united pro-independence forces on the right, the left and in Romeva’s case the Green wing of Catalan politics. He says that a resounding vote for Yes in this regional poll will put Catalonia on a path to independence within 18 months; but that may well be wishful thinking. The Madrid Governemnt is adamant that any moves toward secession will be unconstitutional. Spain faces a prolonged period of bitter argument. And even if the secessionists in Catalonioa got their way what kind of future would their land of 7.5 million have? Would it be allowed into the EU? Would the prosperous local economy thrive or collapse? These are issues which mirror the arguments heard during the Scottish referendum on independence. In an age of great uncertainty for all Europeans the Scots backed away from going it alone – will Catalans ultimately do the same?

Hardtalk Speaks To Homa Hoodfar, A Canadian- Iranian Academic Recently Released After 112 Days Imprisoned In Iran.20161219

HARDtalk speaks to Homa Hoodfar, recently released after 112 days imprisoned in Iran.

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Homa Hoodfar, a Canadian- Iranian academic recently released after 112 days imprisoned in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. Why did a respected anthropologist become an enemy of the Iranian state? Reading the political mood inside Iran is notoriously difficult. Since last year’s nuclear deal it seemed the relatively moderate President Rouhani was in the ascendancy. But Homa Hoodfar has reason to see things differently.

Hardtalk: Sara Khan20160902

Sarah Montague speaks to Sara Khan, director and co-founder of Inspire. Kadiza Sultana was 16 when she ran away from her home in London to join the so-called Islamic State group in Syria. Her family have heard reports that she is dead - killed in a Russian air-strike. It's hard enough to understand why young men join IS, it's harder still to see what attracts women. Sara Khan is at the forefront of efforts in the UK to prevent young women being radicalised. What does she say to them? And is it making any difference?

(Photo: Sara Khan in the Hardtalk studio)

Sara Khan on the challenges of preventing young women being radicalised

Henry Rollins - Musician And Writer20160120

Is America ready for his enduring punk sensibility?

Henry Rollins got into punk rock as a curious kid in 1970s Washington DC. He first found success as lead singer with the band Black Flag and went on to form his own band. He had a cult following on the alternative music scene, but he soon left the confines of rock and roll. Henry Rollins has embraced writing, broadcasting, acting and journalism. These days he's an activist and storyteller taking on issues from militarism to race relations to homophobia. He's built up something of a cult following around the world - but how receptive is America to his enduring punk sensibility?

(Photo: Henry Rollins. Credit: Getty Images)

Henry Winkler - Actor2013030620130307 (WS)

How did a troubled kid come to be a symbol of sunny optimism?

Henry Winkler's long career will always be defined by one role. He was the Fonz, the cool dude at the centre of the US TV show Happy Days which was a worldwide hit in the '70s and '80s. The show portrayed an innocent, untroubled 1950s America. It was a far cry from Winkler's own childhood which was clouded by undiagnosed dyslexia. How did a troubled kid come to be a symbol of sunny optimism, and what happened to the idealised America of Happy Days?

(Image: Henry Winkler, Credit: Getty Images)

Hollywood Actor - Burt Reynolds20151221

Hardtalk’s guest is Hollywood actor Burt Reynolds. He turns 80 next year. Why does he say that although he’s made around 100 films he’s only proud of just a handful of them?

(Photo: Actor Burt Reynolds accepts award during Spike TV's Guys Choice. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Actor Burt Reynolds on his Hollywood career and why he is proud of only some of his films

Hugh Masekela, Musician And Political Activist20150817

Zeinab Badawi talks to the South African jazz musician and political activist Hugh Masekela. His life and music have reflected the struggles of the anti-apartheid era and the subsequent years of black majority rule. So why does he now describe South Africa as fast turning into a rubbish dump and becoming removed from its authentic African culture?

(Photo: Hugh Masekela. Credit: C Brandon/Redferns/Getty)

Zeinab Badawi talks to the South African jazz musician and activist Hugh Masekela.

Human Rights Activist - Raheel Raza20160504

In recent years there has been plenty of often heated debate about the relationship between Islam and extremism. Much of the fiercest commentary has come from outside the faith, but increasingly there are calls for change from within the Muslim community. Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the most controversial voices in that internal debate. Raheel Raza is a Pakistani born Canadian human rights activist who co-founded the Muslim Reform Movement. How many Muslims are ready to talk her language?

Does Islam need a reform movement?

Ian Thorpe - Australian Swimmer2013010420130105 (WS)

Olympic gold medal-winning Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe on his crippling depression.

(Image: Ian Thorpe, Credit: Getty Images)

Imf Managing Director - Christine Lagarde20160418

Is there trouble ahead for the global economy?

In front of an audience in Washington DC, Stephen Sackur talks to Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF. Could 2016 produce economic shocks big enough to plunge the world economy back into crisis?

(Photo: International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde. Credit: Stephen Jaffe/IMF/Getty Images)

India's Commerce And Industry Minister - Nirmala Sitharaman20161111

Nirmala Sitharaman on exports, Chinese steel and India being the next big economic player

Shaun Ley speaks to India's Commerce and Industry Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May has visited Delhi to pave the way for the UK's first post-Brexit trade deal. India is the world's fastest growing economy and a deal with Delhi could ease the UK’s transition out of the European Union. India, though, has troubles of its own - a 20 month run of declining exports, its imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and the capital is engulfed in a choking smog. So against this backdrop, is India ready to be the next big global player?

(Photo: Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman, 2016. Credit: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images)

Interim President, Anc Youth League, South Africa - Mzwandile Masina20130809

What hopes can the ANC offer the younger generation in South Africa?

South Africa is holding general elections next year and for the first time, a whole new generation will cast their vote. The 'born free generation' has no direct memory of the struggle against apartheid - and they have grown up with the powerful African National Congress as their country's government, rather than as its liberators. In a South Africa still struggling to overcome inequality, corruption and youth unemployment, what hopes can the party offer to the younger generation? Hardtalk speaks to Mzwandile Masina, the interim president of the ANC Youth League. Have they still got anything to offer to the younger generation?

International President Of Mdecins Sans Frontires - Dr Joanne Liu20151016

Stephen Sackur speaks with Joanne Liu, International President of Médecins Sans Frontières, Doctors without Borders. In early October American forces in Afghanistan fired missiles into a Kunduz hospital killing 22, including 12 staff working for MSF. The organisation demanded that the incident be investigated as a war crime. But in the world’s most dangerous conflict zones, is it possible to save lives and not take sides?

(Photo credit: BBC News)

Is delivering healthcare in the world’s conflict zones becoming more dangerous?

International Rugby Union Referee - Nigel Owens2015111320151115 (WS)

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Nigel Owens, the Welshman who refereed the recent Rugby World Cup final and is one of the most respected professionals in the game. It has not been an easy journey to the top of the game for him - as a gay man in a macho sport, he has suffered depression and contemplated suicide. How has the world of rugby embraced him and what is making the sport so popular today?

(Photo: Referee Nigel Owens of Wales awards a penalty during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final. Credit: Getty Images)

What is making the sport so popular today?

International Rugby Union Referee - Nigel Owens20151228

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Nigel Owens, the Welshman who refereed the Rugby World Cup final and is one of the most respected professionals in the game. It has not been an easy journey to the top of the game for him - as a gay man in a macho sport, he has suffered depression and contemplated suicide. How has the world of rugby embraced him and what is making the sport so popular today?

(Photo: Referee Nigel Owens. Credit: Matt Lewis - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Nigel Owens refereed the Rugby World Cup final. He speaks to Zeinab Badawi.

Ioannis Kasoulides € Foreign Minister Of Cyprus20130426

Cyprus is enduring a financial and economic meltdown. Who and what will save Cyprus?

Cyprus is enduring the agonies of a financial and economic meltdown. But here's the really bad news for the Cypriot people - according to international economists their darkest days have yet to come. The islands economy is about to shrink dramatically, overseas investors are fleeing and the current Government is struggling to come up with a survival strategy. Stephen Sackur speaks to Cyprus's Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides. Who and what will save Cyprus?

(Image: Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides (right) shakes hands with Foreign minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt. Credit: Associated Press)

Irish Author - Colm Tibn20150821

His novels explore dark themes but is Colm Tóibín as intense as his fiction suggests?

Colm Tóibín is an Irish writer whose intense, lyrical novels have won him awards, acclaim and most importantly millions of readers around the world. Colm Tóibín isn't so much a flamboyant storyteller; he's more an acute observer of character and the deepest human feelings. There are recurring themes in his work - loss, mourning, sexual repression and exile which might suggest a dark, brooding presence - but how close is that to the real Colm Tóibín?

(Photo: Colm Tóibín. Credit: Ulf Andersen/Getty Images)

Italian Politician - Emma Bonino20131028

An activist for political and social freedoms, what does she think of Italy today?

Emma Bonino has been an outspoken and bold activist for political and social freedoms for decades. She was instrumental in getting Italy to legalise abortion, has campaigned against nuclear energy, racism and sexism. But when she looks at what's happening in Italy today, does she feel that she has lost the fight?

Recorded in front of a live audience for the 100 Women season.

Ivo Daalder, Us Permanent Representative To Nato20130614

European by birth, American by choice. Are those two outlooks becoming hard to reconcile?

He’s European by birth; an American citizen by choice. But are those two outlooks becoming increasingly hard to reconcile? There’s tension over US surveillance that could affect Europeans; and a division in NATO between what one US defence secretary calls those who pay – principally the Americans – and those who enjoy the benefits – the Europeans. As Ivo Daalder ends his term, does he think it’s time for this 64-year-old veteran security organisation to be pensioned off? Presented by Shaun Ley.

(Image: Ivo Daalder, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary General Of The Organisation Of Islamic Co-operation20160208

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), from the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah. The OIC represents the world's 57 Muslim nations. With large parts of the Muslim world torn apart by sectarian strife and with acts of terror perpetrated by Muslims across continents, what can he do or say to combat the challenges?

(Photo: Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation)

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Iyad Ameen Madani of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation

James Cracknell - Former Olympic Rower20121116

What resources has Olympic rower James Cracknell needed to endure serious brain damage?

James Cracknell is a former Olympic rowing champion who has performed astonishing feats of endurance from the Sahara to Antarctica. But his toughest challenge has come by accident, not design. Two years ago his skull was smashed by a truck as he cycled across America. Miraculously he survived and his body healed, but his brain suffered significant damage. How has he responded to a test which changed his personality and his life?

James Earl Jones - Actor2012010220120103

Stephen Sackur meets one of America's most respected actors, James Earl Jones.

Hardtalk is at Wyndham's Theatre in London's West End to meet one of America's most respected actors, James Earl Jones.

He's currently appearing on stage in Driving Miss Daisy alongside Vanessa Redgrave.

His is an extraordinary story - born into rural poverty in Mississippi in the era of segregation, he made his debut on Broadway back in the 1950s.

Last month he received an honorary Oscar for a lifetime of cinematic achievement.

These days, black American success on stage and screen is not unusual, but how hard has his journey been?

James Earl Jones talks to Stephen Sackur

James Ellroy - Crime Writer20150814

Hardtalk talks to James Ellroy regarded as America’s greatest living crime writer.

Hardtalk speaks to the man who has been called 'America’s greatest living crime writer'. Through works such as the Black Dalia and LA Confidential, James Ellroy has created a uniquely dark portrait of America. His is a nightmare vision of crazed killers and corrupt cops. He writes of what he knows – his own mother was murdered when he was a child. So is that simple, terrible fact the key to understanding all the words he has ever written?

(Photo: James Ellroy. Credit: Ulf Andersen/Getty Images)

Janet Napolitano, Former Us Secretary Of Homeland Security20160229

Zeinab Badawi interviews Janet Napolitano, former US Secretary of Homeland Security.

Word leaders are all grappling with similar problems these days: how to counter terrorism, enhance security and manage national borders, whilst at the same time remaining open to the benefits of globalisation. Janet Napolitano was Homeland Security Chief for five years under President Obama. She's also a former governor of Arizona: a US border state. How does she think we can make the world a safer place and respect human rights and democratic values?

Jeh Johnson- General Counsel, Us Department Of Defense2012113020121201 (WS)

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Jeh Johnson, the General Counsel of the US Defense Department.

How far will Barack Obama go in taking on critics who say the United States has abandoned its role as the global champion of human rights?

America's counter-terrorism measures after 9/11 - including targeted killings and indefinite periods of detention without trial - have angered many.

Former President Jimmy Carter has said the US has now lost its moral authority as a result.

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Jeh Johnson, the General Counsel of the US Defense Department, the Pentagon's top lawyer and a close ally of Barack Obama.

(Image: Jeh Johnson. Credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Joaquin Almunia € Eu Competition Commissioner2013011620130117 (WS)

John Mccain - Us Senator20120214

Can the Republican Party find a presidential candidate capable of turfing Barack Obama out of office?

The battle to win the Republican nomination is proving to be protracted and brutal, and right now the main beneficiary appears to be the man currently occupying the White House.

Senator John McCain is the Republican candidate who ran against Obama and lost four years ago.

Is the struggle to find a convincing Presidential nominee indicative of a Republican Party that has lost its way?

(Image: John McCain. Credit: Getty Images)

Can the Republican Party find a candidate capable of turfing Barack Obama out of office?

Journalist And Author - Florence Hartmann20160413

Shaun Ley speaks to journalist and author Florence Hartmann

On the same day that a war crimes tribunal jailed the Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic for 40 years, it also detained a journalist. Florence Hartmann used to work at the tribunal, but her decision to reveal confidential court decisions led to a brief spell in custody. She says the world had a right to know that Serbia had been allowed to keep secret documents which could have helped victims of war crimes win compensation. Critics say Hartmann's actions made it harder for the tribunal to get co-operation in the future. How did her own experience of the horrors of the Bosnian War influence her decision? Did Florence Hartmann put journalistic ambition before justice?

(Photo: Florence Hartmann at the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of having disclosed confidential judicial information. Credit: Olaf Kraak/AFP)

Journalist And Former Hostage - Nicolas Hnin20151111

Zeinab Badawi speaks to French journalist Nicolas Henin, who was held captive for 10 months by so called Islamic State in the Syrian city of Raqqa and released last year. Should foreign journalists report from such dangerous conflict zones?

(Photo: French journalist Nicolas Henin. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Should foreign journalists report from such dangerous conflict zones?

Karl Von Habsburg20140804

The great nephew of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was assassinated in June 1914

Hardtalk is in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia Herzegovina, to mark the centenary of the start of World War One. Stephen Sackur talks to Karl von Habsburg - the grandson of the last Habsburg Emperor. It was the assassination of his great uncle Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914 that set in motion the Great War. Are similar tensions once again on the rise in Europe?

Kenyan Author - Binyavanga Wainaina20140221

After publicly 'coming out', can Binyavanaga Wainaina change attitudes to homesexuality?

In a host of African countries, homosexuality is a crime. From Nigeria to Uganda, politicians seem to believe persecuting gays is a vote-winning strategy. As part of the BBCs Freedom season, Hardtalk speaks to Kenyan writer Binyavanaga Wainaina. He knew it would be big news when he publically revealed his homosexuality earlier this year. Sure enough he is now at the centre of a debate about freedom, identity and culture that's raging across the African continent. Is his stand changing minds?

(Photo: Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina during an interview with the AFP on January 27, 2014. Credit: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images)

Kiran Bedi - Senior Female Police Officer In India2013011820130119 (WS)

Is India failing to protect women from sexual violence?

The brutal gang rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi last month has prompted India to confront a disturbing truth: the country is failing to protect women from sexual violence.

Kiran Bedi has seen the problem close up – she was the most senior female police officer in the Indian Police Service when she retired.

Is India ready for the deep-seated changes that would make the country’s women less vulnerable?

Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director Of Greenpeace International2012112320121124 (WS)

Doesn’t Greenpeace need a new bold vision to make an impact – and if so – what is it?

Greenpeace has campaigned against environmental degradation, for more than 40 years. This month it’s mobilising its activists to make a stand on saving the planet at the UN climate change conference in Doha. Four decades on and with global warming slipping down the agenda – is anyone listening to what Greenpeace have to say? Hardtalk talks to South African Kumi Naidoo – executive director of Greenpeace International. Doesn’t his organisation need a new bold vision to make an impact – and if so – what is it?

(Image: Kumi Naidoo, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Kyriakos Mitsotakis € President Of New Democracy, Greece20160222

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Kyriakos Mitsotakis, President of the Greek New Democracy party

From Brussels, Zeinab Badawi speaks to Kyriakos Mitsotakis in his first major interview since being elected leader of Greece’s main conservative opposition party, New Democracy. European Union leaders are demanding Greece do more to tackle the migrant crisis, and insist Athens pass tough economic reforms if it wants more bailout funds. Does the party he now leads share responsibility for the economic mess that Greece finds itself in?

(Photo: Main opposition New Democracy party leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Credit: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

Labour Work And Pensions Spokesman, Uk - Liam Byrne20130923

Can Labour convince the public that it is a credible political party for government?

Latif Yahia2010010520100106 (WS)

The man who became the body double for Saddam Hussein's notoriously brutal son Uday.

As a young Iraqi soldier in the late 1980s Latif Yahia was ordered to become the body double for Saddam Hussein's notoriously brutal son Uday.

Latif Yahia played that role for four years, before fleeing with the help, he says, of the CIA. His story is about to be turned into a big budget movie, but what will the world make of a man who now insists Iraq needs a leader like Saddam Hussein? He talks to Stephen Sackur.

Leader Of Democratic Green Party, Rwanda - Frank Habineza20151202

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Rwandan politician Frank Habineza, who founded the opposition Democratic Green Party of Rwanda six years ago. He wants President Paul Kagame, who has been in power for more than 20 years, to stand down at the next presidential elections in 2017. Rwanda is still in the process of recovering from the genocide of the mid 1990's - and the government has been praised for its success in alleviating poverty and bringing about reconciliation. But Frank Habineza thinks it is time for a change and has been critical of government policy - what can he offer a nation that's been so scarred by tragedy?

(Photo: Rwandan politician Frank Habineza)

Can Frank Habineza's Democratic Green Party offer a better alternative for Rwanda?

Leader Of The House Of Commons, Uk - Chris Grayling20160608

Will this political war ultimately weaken Britain and Europe?

Stephen Sackur talks to Chris Grayling, the Leader of the House of Commons in the UK and a senior figure in the campaign to leave the European Union. Any hopes that Britain's decision on whether to stay in or leave the EU would be calm, dispassionate and respectful have been well and truly dashed. In the run up to the referendum on 23 June, the the two camps are kicking lumps out of each other - and the fight is at its bloodiest inside the governing conservative party. Will this political war ultimately weaken Britain and Europe?

(Photo: Leader of the House of Commons, Chris Grayling, speaks during a Vote Leave press conference on 31 May 2016. Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images)

Leader, Democratic Alliance (south Africa) - Mmusi Maimane20150812

South Africa's Democratic Alliance, the country's main opposition party, has its first ever black leader. Mmusi Maimane took over in May this year from Helen Zille. He says he wants to represent all South Africans regardless of colour, but the vast majority of black South Africans support the ANC, the party of Nelson Mandela. Can Mmusi Maimane win them over and take race out of South African politics?

(Picture: Mmusi Maimane campaigns around Protea South on October 23, 2013 in Soweto, South Africa. Credit: Foto24/Getty)

Can the first black leader of South Africa's main opposition take race out of politics?

Lebanon's Education Minister - Elias Bou Saab20160316

What is the collateral damage for Lebanon from the Syrian conflict?

The fallout from the conflict in Syria is threatening to destabilise one of the Middle East's most delicate nations - Lebanon. It hosts around 1.3 million Syrian refugees, more per capita than any other country. This places huge pressure on its people and government, as well as adding more strain on its fragile sectarian mix. Hardtalk speaks to Elias Bou Saab, Lebanon's Education Minister. What is the collateral damage for Lebanon from the Syrian conflict and can the government cope?

(Photo: Lebanese Education Minister Elias Bou Saab addresses delegates at the Supporting Syria Conference, London 2016. Credit: Ben Stansall/WPA Pool /Getty Images)

Lewis Moody - England Rugby Captain (2009-2011)2012080820120809 (WS)

There is no room for sentiment in elite sport.

That is the lesson Lewis Moody learned when he captained England's rugby team at last year's World Cup in New Zealand.

Never mind his 70 odd caps and reputation for wholehearted commitment, Lewis Moody came under heavy fire for England's poor performance on and off the field.

In March this year he retired from the game which has dominated so much of his life - so, physically and mentally how heavy a toll has rugby taken on Lewis Moody?

(Image: Lewis Moody. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Former England rugby captain Lewis Moody talks about his battle with bowel disease.

Lewis Moody - Former England Rugby Captain2012122620121227 (WS)

Former England rugby captain Lewis Moody talks to Stephen Sackur about his battle with bowel disease, and winning the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

(Image: Lewis Moody, Credit: Getty Images)

Ex-England rugby captain Lewis Moody talks about his battle with bowel disease

Libya's Ambassador To United Arab Emirates - Aref Ali Nayed20150916

Libya is close to forming a national unity government and Aref Ali Nayed is a nominee to be prime minister. Can Libya's warring parties join forces to save the country?

(Photo: Aref Ali Nayed, Libya's Ambassador to United Arab Emirates. Credit: AFP)

Can Libya's warring parties join forces to save the country?

Lord Carey - Former Archbishop Of Canterbury2012021520120216
Lord Hanningfield - Former Conservative Peer2012082020120821 (WS)

We speak to Lord Hanningfield, who was jailed after a parliamentary expenses scandal.

The expenses scandal tarnished those at the very heart of British democracy. Some politicians in the so-called Mother of Parliaments were shown to be greedy and a few criminal.

A handful went to jail and one of those is the former Conservative peer and former leader of Essex County Council Lord Hanningfield.

So why did he do it? Is there something fundamentally wrong with Britain's political culture and with those who go into politics? And what lessons can a lawmaker learn from prison?

(Image: Lord Hanningfield)

Lord Heseltine € Former British Deputy Prime Minister2013011120130112 (WS)

Lord Maurice Saatchi - Uk Conservative Party Chairman 2003 € 200520130412

The advertising guru who helped define, and sell, what Margaret Thatcher stood for

Rarely does the death of a long-retired politician prompt a genuinely worldwide reaction, but Margaret Thatcher was one of a kind. Britain’s first female prime minister transformed her own country, and provided the world with a model of market economics and conviction politics, which was inspirational to some, repellent to others.

Hardtalk speaks to a man who played a key role in the creation of Thatcherism. Maurice, now Lord Saatchi, was the advertising guru who helped define, and sell, what she stood for. How enduring is the Thatcher legacy?

Presented by Stephen Sackur.

(Image: Lord Maurice Saatchi, Credit: Getty Images)

Lord Moynihan - Chairman Of The British Olympics Association2012081720120818 (WS)

Katya Adler speaks to Lord Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympics Association

Katya Adler speaks to Lord Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympics Association and Director of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games.

London 2012 has been a resounding success, applauded at home and abroad, but what can be done to ensure an enduring sporting legacy?

British sports are celebrating their best collective performance in over a century. So now that the Games are over, why has Lord Moynihan submitted his resignation?

(Image: Lord Colin Moynihan at a press conference in July 2012. Credit: David Davies / PA Wire)

Lord Patten - Chairman Of The Bbc Trust20130503

Why Chris Patten believes the BBC is still the best broadcaster in the world

Almost three hundred million people across the world consume BBC content every week. But does the BBC deserve your trust? After going through a prolonged internal crisis marked by serious internal failings HARDtalk speaks to the ultimate overseer of the BBC, Chairman of the BBC Trust, Chris Patten. He insists it's the best broadcaster in the world. Stephen Sackur asks if you should believe him.

Lynton Crosby - Political Strategist2012070220120703

Electoral politics is a blood sport and some of the toughest fighters in the game are the campaign strategists who hone and sell their candidates' message.

Lynton Crosby is widely regarded as a master in the dark arts of political campaigning. He ran winning election campaigns in his native Australia for former prime minister John Howard. In the UK, he twice helped Boris Johnson win the London Mayor's office.

Opponents on the left have accused him of using grubby, divisive methods to further a conservative agenda. Is bare-knuckle politics good for democracy?

(Image: Lynton Crosby)

Maajid Nawaz - Chairman Of Quilliam, Counter Extremisim Organisation2012082720120828 (WS)

Stephen Sackur talks to Maajid Nawaz, a former radical Islamist who renounced his views.

Maajid Nawaz is a British born Muslim who became a radical Islamist.

He was arrested and imprisoned in Hosni Mubarak's Egypt but when he emerged from prison he renounced his former views and launched a campaign to counter Islamist ideology.

To some he's a truth teller, to others a traitor.

Stephen Sackur asks him to explain his extraordinary transformation.

Majak D’agot - Former Deputy Defence Minister, South Sudan20160826

Should South Sudan have ever been an independent country?

HARDtalk’s Shaun Ley speaks to Majak D’Agoôt, former deputy Defence Minister of South Sudan. It took half a century of civil war to give South Sudan its independence. Just five years later, leading figures from the independence struggle are calling for the UN to take charge. Majak D’Agoôt fought in the war of independence, became deputy minister of defence, but was sacked by the President and is now in exile. Have South Sudan's politicians failed their starving, displaced people or was the South never viable as a separate country in the first place?

Major General Robert Mood - Former Head Of Un Supervision Mission In Syria2013032920130330 (WS)

What should the outside world be doing as Syria sinks ever deeper into civil war?

What could and should the outside world be doing as Syria sinks ever deeper into civil war? Has inertia and division within the international community condemned Syria to a slow and agonising collapse? Hardtalk speaks to Norwegian general Robert Mood, who led the ill-fated UN supervision mission in Syria last year. What went wrong then, and do the Syrian people deserve better from the world's major powers now?

(Image: Major General Robert Mood in a crowd in Syria, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Marine Le Pen - President Of The National Front Party, France20161014

Could she send shockwaves around the world and actually win the French presidency?

With voters from around the world are expressing their disgust with politics, she is going to be a key player in next year’s French presidential elections. Could Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front party send shockwaves around the world and actually win the French presidency?

Picture: Marine Le Pen, Credit: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images

Mark Carney - Governor Of Canada's Central Bank2012081020120811 (WS)

Zeinab Badawi talks to Mark Carney, Governor of Canada's Central Bank.

London's reputation as a global financial centre has been tarnished yet again.

This time another British bank Standard Chartered, stands accused of irregularities.

New York's top financial regulator claims the bank carried out $240 billion dollars of illegal transactions with Iran over the past decade. The bank refutes the claim.

This latest case follows on the heels of other scandals in the City of London.

Moves are underway to tighten international banking regulation. So where does the problem lie?

Zeinab Badawi talks to Mark Carney, who is in charge of steering these new rules as Chairman of the Financial Stability Board for the G20 Leading economies.

He's also Governor of Canada's Central Bank.

(Image: Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney. Credit: REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Mark Inglis20111124

is a double amputee, who climbed Everest on his prosthetic limbs.

"You can do anything in life if you damn well want it," he says.

But his was an achievement which was also marked with controversy.

Did his expedition do enough to save another climber, dying on the mountainside?

Mark Inglis, a double amputee, talks about climbing Everest on his prosthetic limbs.

Mark Lynas - Pro-gm Campaigner2013013020130131 (WS)

Martin Amis € Author20130617

His books are filled with greed and lust, but Amis says he writes in a celebratory spirit

Stephen Sackur speaks to Martin Amis, an author who was pigeon-holed early in his career as the ‘enfant terrible’ of the British literary world. Four decades on, he remains one of the most successful and closely scrutinised novelists of his generation. His books are filled with greed, lust, addiction and ignorance, and yet, he suggests he writes in a celebratory spirit. So, what exactly is he celebrating?

Martin Schulz, President Of The European Parliament2016022620160227 (WS)

Sarah Montague talks to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament

Last week all 28 leaders of the EU were holed up in buildings in Brussels for hours into the night, trying to strike a deal that would keep the United Kingdom in the European Union. The British people will have their say on what they came up with in a referendum in June. If they vote to leave the EU what will it mean, for the UK and for Europe more widely? Sarah Montague is in Brussels to talk to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament. Could Britain’s vote tear the whole Union apart?

Maryam Al Khawaja - Bahraini Human Rights Activist2012091020120911 (WS)

The future of the Gulf state of Bahrain remains uncertain after 18 months of street protests inspired by the Arab Spring.

Some of the most outspoken Bahraini critics of the ruling Al Khalifa family are behind bars, violent clashes between police and demonstrators continue.

Maryam Al Khawaja is a prominent human rights campaigner, whose father was sentenced to life in prison for plotting to overthrow the government.

Who will win the fight for Bahrain's future?

Stephen Sackur speaks to the Bahraini Human Rights Activist, Maryam Al Khawaja.

Mayor Of Jerusalem - Nir Barkat20160106

The Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, has grand plans to turn Jerusalem into a world city but is his vision far removed from the reality on the ground? He talks to Stephen Sackur about his aspirations.

(Photo: Backdropped by Jerusalem's Old City Ottoman walls, Jerusalem's mayor Nir Barkat speaks during a joint press conference 2015. Credit: Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images)

Nir Barkat has grand plans for advancing Jerusalem but just how equal is the city?

Mayor Of Philadelphia - Michael Nutter20131108

Hardtalk speaks to African-American Democrat Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia. He is in London to try to attract business and investment to Philadelphia. But how can a city with high levels of crime be an attractive environment for visitors and tourists? Mayor Nutter wants the Obama administration to spend more on tackling violence and crime at home, rather than fighting terrorism abroad. Why does he think that is not happening?

Should America spend more on tackling crime at home rather than fighting terrorism?

Medical Director, Akanksha Infertility Clinic, India - Dr Nayna Patel20131230

Is producing surrogate babies to order exploitative or a positive public service?

In India, producing surrogate babies is a booming business. Reproductive technology allows childless, wealthy couples to hire impoverished Indian women as surrogate mothers - pregnancy and childbirth have become commercial transactions. Hardtalk speaks to Dr Nayna Patel, a pioneer in the field. Her clinic has been recruiting surrogates and delivering babies to order for a decade. Is this 21st Century way of making babies irresponsible and exploitative, or a positive public service?

Picture: Dr Nayna Patel (centre) with surrogate mothers. Credit: Special Edition Films

Mehmet Simsek - Finance Minister, Turkey20130624

Why have protests erupted across Turkey like never before under the ruling AK party?

Following the response to the anti-government demonstrations, critics at home and abroad are pointing to an increasingly authoritarian style of political leadership in Turkey. Why have protests erupted across the country like never before under the ruling AK party? And did the initial crackdown by the security forces actually strengthen the protesters? Zeinab Badawi is in Ankara to speak to Turkey’s finance minister, Mehmet Simsek.

(Image: Mehmet Simsek, Credit: Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)

Member Of Hong Kong's Legislative Council - Nathan Law20160916

Will Beijing try to silence Hong Kong's Nathan Law?

Remember the pro-democracy umbrella protests in Hong Kong a couple of years ago? They ended up as something of a damp squib, but the young leaders of the movement haven’t disappeared. Nathan Law has just won a seat in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council and he's at the head of a so-called localist movement demanding a referendum on self-determination for the territory. Will Beijing try to silence Nathan Law?

Michael Barber - Chief Education Advisor, Pearson Plc2012081320120814 (WS)

The United Nations had hoped that by 2015 every child would be able to go to primary school.

But the last time they reported on progress to that goal, they said 69 million children were still not getting an education - most of those in sub-Saharan Africa.

Michael Barber has advised governments around the world about education.

He's now working for the international company Pearson.

It recently announced it would invest millions in private schools for the world's poorest families.

Is that the right way to tackle the problem or could it undermine what governments are trying to do?

Sarah Montague speaks to Sir Michael Barber about schools for the world's poorest children

Michael Chertoff20110917

was the man whose task it was to keep the US safe.

For four years, he was Director of Homeland Security under George W Bush, a leading figure in the America's declared war on terror.

Michael Chertoff says that ten years after the 9/11 attacks the world remains threatened by terrorist groups whose members, hate freedom, justice and liberty for all.

If that's right, what does it mean, in practical terms, should be done?

And what have we learnt over the last ten years of this struggle?

Michael Chertoff, former Director of Homeland Security on the US after 9/11.

Michael Frayn - Writer20120409

Stephen Sackur speaks to one of Britain's finest writing talents.

Stephen Sackur speaks to one of Britain's finest writing talents, whose creativity defies a simple label.

Yes, Michael Frayn is a renowned playwright whose work has ranged from high farce to cerebral intensity.

But he's also an acclaimed novelist and an accomplished translator from the Russian of Chekhov and Tolstoy.

Throughout his writing career he's mixed high seriousness with a wicked sense of the absurd.

Is laughter an essential tool for the serious writer?

Michael Frayn - Writer20120410

Stephen Sackur speaks to one of Britain's finest writing talents.

Michael Morpurgo - Childrens' Author2011122820111229

Stephen Sackur talks to Warhorse author Michael Morpurgo.

Michael Morpurgo has written more than 100 books – one of them War Horse, set amid the horrors of World War I, is now a hugely popular stage play and is about to become a Hollywood movie.

His ambition is to spark children’s imaginations, but is there any subject that is off limits?

He talks to Stephen Sackur.

Michael O’leary, Ryanair Chief Executive2012101220121013 (WS)

Interview with Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair

The aviation industry is in trouble. Fuel prices have soared, there’s been a drop in passenger numbers and some airlines have gone out of business, but in Europe there’s one airline which is bucking the trend. The low-cost, no-frills Ryanair carried almost 80 million passengers last year. Michael O’Leary is the pugnacious, outspoken Chief Executive of Ryanair who has ambitions to make his airline even bigger, but how far can he fly before he gets shot down? He talks to Stephen Sackur in Dublin.

(Image: Michael O'Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair Credit: Getty Images)

Minister Of Defence In Georgia - Tinatin Khidasheli20150921

Is Nato prepared to accept Georgia as a new member?

Georgia wants to join Nato. Its Defence Minister, Tinatin Khidasheli, has been touring European Union countries making the case for the former Soviet state to join the club of western nations who vow to defend each other's borders. But It was only a few months ago that Russia extended its control over South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which the United Nations still recognises as Georgian territory. Hardtalk’s Sarah Montague asks whether Nato is prepared to face up to Russia over Georgia?

(Photo: Georgian Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Minister Of Foreign Affairs And Trade, Hungary - Pter Szijjrt20161021

Why won’t Hungary play by Europe’s rules?

Brexit isn't the only threat to the coherence of the European Union. Think about Hungary for a second. The populist Government of Victor Orban rejected the EU's agreed response to the external migration challenge. The prime minister held a referendum in a bid to assert Hungary's right to ignore EU rules. Other EU member states have accused Hungary of threatening the Unions future. Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Hungarian foreign minister, Péter Szijjártó. Why won’t Hungary play by Europe’s rules?

(Photo: Hungary's Minister of External Economy and Foreign Affairs, Peter Szijjarto. Credit: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images)

Minister Of Intelligence, Israel - Yuval Steinitz20131101

There is an unmistakable sense of diplomatic apprehension in Israel right now – at the heart if it a recognition that on a number of key issues, from Iran to peace talks with the Palestinians, the Israeli government is out of step with its key strategic ally the United States. In strategic terms, can Israel afford to go it alone?

Picture: Benjamin Netanyahu (left) sits with Yuval Steinitz (right) Credit: Sebastian Scheiner-Pool/Getty Images)

Minister Of Intelligence, Israel - Yuval Steinitz20140829

For all the destruction in Gaza, has Israel's position been strengthened or weakened?

With a ceasefire now in place in Gaza, the Israeli government faces a simple question: what exactly did Operation Protective Edge achieve? For all the death and destruction in Gaza, has Israel's position been strengthened or weakened? Stephen Sackur speaks to Israel's Minister of Intelligence, Yuval Steinitz. Does Israel need a strategic rethink?

Picture: Yuval Steinitz talks to Stephen Sackur, Credit: BBC

Mohamed El-erian € Ceo, Pimco2013012520130126 (WS)

Is it time for the doom-mongers to admit they were wrong about the world economy?

The Eurozone is intact, the US hasn't plunged off that fiscal cliff and even the most stagnant economy of them all - Japan's - is showing signs of life. Could it be that central bankers and politicians are finally ready to take bold decisions in their quest for growth?

Hardtalk speaks to one of the world's most influential investors, Mohamed El-Erian, boss of the massive PIMCO fund management business. Caution or confidence, which is winning out?

Mohammed Waheed - President Of The Maldives2012031620120317

President Mohammed Waheed of the Maldives talks to Stephen Sackur.

The Maldives was plunged into political crisis when the former president Mohamed Nasheed resigned, claiming to have been forced out of his position.

He was succeeded by his former vice president - Mohammed Waheed - who denies allegations of taking part in a coup.

President Waheed is now building a government of national unity, but with tensions still running high between him and supporters of his predecessor, how safe is the island nation's democracy?

(Image: Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed Hassan. Credit: Associated Press).

Mona Eltahawy € Writer And Activist2013010720130108 (WS)

Monzer Akbik - Syrian National Coalition2015120420151205 (WS)

In the aftermath of the recent Paris attacks, members of the international coalition against the so-called Islamic State, including Britain, have been weighing up the effectiveness of air-strikes on IS strongholds inside Syria. But what impact has the intensified military campaign against IS had on the Syrian opposition? We speak to Monzer Akbik of the Syrian National Coalition, an umbrella organisation made up of Syrian opposition groups. Does he believe their battle against Assad has been re-energised or weakened by the targeting of IS?

Has targeting IS weakened or re-energised the Syrian National Coalition?

Musician - John Cale20160411

Where does musical creativity come from?

HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to John Cale, a founding member of the Velvet underground, and a solo artist and producer. In the checkered history of rock and roll, there have been relatively few artists who have managed to create a genuinely new, even revolutionary, sound. The Velvet Underground achieved just that in mid-sixties New York - combining youthful anger, musical creativity, with an avant-garde art sensibility. Today John Cale continues to experiment with new sounds. To many, his music is challenging, even bleak, but is that a reflection of the man himself?

Musician - Roger Waters20130920

What motivates the former Pink Floyd bass guitarist?

Musician - Roger Waters20140101

What motivates the former Pink Floyd bass guitarist?

Draw up a list of the biggest bands in the history of rock and roll and a remarkable number of them are British. There’s The Beatles and The Rolling Stones of course, but also Pink Floyd, whose albums The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall remain rock classics. Stephen Sackur speaks to Roger Waters, who was a dominant figure in Pink Floyd until he quit in 1985. He is still performing and he remains a controversial rock star. So what motivates him?

Picture: Roger Waters, Credit: Torben Christensen/AFP/Getty Images

Musician And Actor - Meat Loaf20161003

How close did the rock 'n' roll legend get to self-destruction?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Meatloaf, a rock 'n' roll legend who broke the rules of the music business. He was never cool, never a pin up, but his songs and his performances have always been much larger than life. Meatloaf shot to fame four decades ago, with an album Bat out of Hell which became one of the biggest sellers of all time. Since then his career - in music and acting - has been a crazy mix of highs and lows. How close did he get to self-destruction?

(Photo: Musician and actor Meatloaf. Credit: Getty Images)

Naturalist And Wildlife Film-maker - Chris Packham20140721

Is it time to radically rethink man’s relationship with the natural world?

Hardtalk is in the heart of the English countryside, a habitat that is rich in wildlife but for how much longer? The impact of human beings here, as in so much of the world, is putting enormous pressure on natural ecosystems. Stephen Sackur speaks to Chris Packham, one of Britain’s best known naturalists and campaigners for wildlife protection. Is it time to radically rethink man’s relationship with the natural world?

(Photo: Chris Packham)

Neurosurgeon - Dr Henry Marsh20160831

Stephen Sackur talks to one of Britain's leading brain surgeons, Henry Marsh. Imagine you are a patient, about to undergo brain surgery. If it goes well it will save your life; if it goes wrong you could end up paralysed or dead. Of course you want to believe your surgeon is infallible, a superhero - but he is not; he is all too human just like you. That simple truth emerges from the extraordinarily honest writing of Dr Henry Marsh. He has given us rare insight into the mind of the doctor - is it reassuring or troubling?

(Photo: Dr Henry Marsh in the Hardtalk studio)

Dr Henry Marsh gives a rare insight into the mind of a doctor but how reassuring is it?

Neurosurgeon - Dr. Henry Marsh20161228

Is the mind set of this world renowned neurosurgeon reassuring or troubling?

Imagine you are a patient, about to undergo brain surgery. If it goes well it will save your life; if it goes wrong you could end up paralysed or dead. Of course you want to believe your surgeon is infallible, a superhero - but he is not; he is all too human just like you. That simple truth emerges from the extraordinarily honest writing of one of Britain's leading brain surgeons, Henry Marsh. He gives rare insight into the mind of the doctor - is it reassuring or troubling?

Neurosurgeon Dr Henry Marsh20160104

Insight into the mind of a doctor from Dr Henry Marsh, neurosurgeon

Nhial Deng Nhial € Foreign Minister, South Sudan2012050220120503

Africa's newest nation, South Sudan, is in trouble.

Less than a year after independence from Khartoum, the South and its much larger northern neighbour are confronting each other over oil reserves, borders and territory.

Sporadic fighting has prompted mutual recrimination and talk of all-out war.

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to South Sudan's foreign minister Nhial Deng Nhial. The African Union and the UN are pushing hard for a negotiated settlement, but is it already too late?

Nigel Farage - Leader Of The Uk Independence Party20120806

In Europe's crisis he sees political opportunity - but is he playing with fire?

As another wave of financial fear sweeps through the Eurozone, with Spain seemingly staggering towards a bail out and Italy not far behind, the voices of the continents Eurosceptics grow louder.

Most prominent among them is Nigel Farage, leader of the UK independence party and self-styled scourge of the EU establishment in his role as a member of the European Parliament.

(Image: Nigel Farage)

Nigel Sheinwald - Uk Ambassador To The Us (2007 - 2012)2013012820130129 (WS)

Nigerian Human Rights Activist - Shehu Sani20141029

How can the conflict with Boko Haram which has cost thousands of Nigerian lives be ended?

Days ago the Nigerian government announced a ceasefire deal with the militant group Boko Haram - officials predicted the imminent release of more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by the extremists last April. Now those words look depressingly premature.

What is going on with Nigeria's insurgency? Hardtalk speaks to Shehu Sani, a Nigerian human rights activist and sometime mediator with Boko Haram. How can the conflict which has cost thousands of Nigerian lives be ended?

(Photo: Shehu Sani. BBC copyright)

Nigerian Novelist And Poet - Ben Okri2016010820160109 (WS)

Stephen Sackur talks to internationally acclaimed novelist and poet Ben Okri. How free are Africa's storytellers to explore the richness and diversity of their continent?

(Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images)

Novelist and poet Ben Okri on the freedom for storytellers to explore their continent

Nigeria's Minister Of Industry, Trade And Investment - Okechukwu Enelamah20161005

Nigeria renews efforts to tackle economic recession and corruption but is it too late?

Shaun Ley speaks to Okechukwu Enelamah, Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment. Nigeria's economy is contracting for the first time in 25 years. The north-east is threatened by famine and President Buhari has promised renewed efforts to tackle the 'cancer' of corruption. Okechukwu Enelamah wants to break his country's dependence on oil. But with foreign investors pulling out and blaming hostile policies, has Nigeria left it all too late?

(Photo: Okechukwu Enelamah, Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment)

Nir Barkat, Mayor Of Jerusalem2011071520110716

Is Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat a visionary or is he ignoring reality?

The Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, came to power in 2008, insisting that Jerusalem should forever remain the undivided capital of the Jewish state.

But no city has had a more turbulent history and today it lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians themselves want to establish the capital of their future Palestinian state in at least part of Jerusalem. 

So is Nir Barkat a visionary or is he ignoring reality? He talks to Tim Franks.

Nobel Literature Laureate - Wole Soyinka20140509

Does a state that cannot guarantee the safety of its children have a future?

Nigeria's century has been described as "100 years of trauma". This is no more apparent than in the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls by a militant Islamist group that perceives learning as an alien imposition by Christians and Europeans.

Wole Soyinka is Nigeria's most prominent writer, the first African to be awarded the Nobel prize for literature. Persecuted by past governments for his commitment to democracy, what does he make of how Nigeria has stood up to the pressures of insurgency, the temptations of oil wealth and the corruption critics say is endemic. Does a state that cannot even guarantee the safety of its children have a future?

Nobel Peace Prize Winner, President Juan Manuel Santos Of Colombia20161212

HARDtalk speaks to Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia

HARDtalk is in Oslo to speak to Colombia's president Juan Manuel Santos who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to secure peace with Colombia's Farc rebel group. President Santos tells HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur that the prize was a 'gift from heaven' and says ‘this came like a big wind that pushed the whole country, and me, and the whole process to the port of destiny which was a peace agreement.’

Nobel Prize Winner - Ouided Bouchamaoui20151211

Stephen Sackur travels to Oslo to talk to Nobel Peace prize winner Ouided Bouchamaoui. She is one of the four recipients representing the National Dialogue Quartet, a combination of civil society organisations who did much to rescue Tunisia from political chaos a couple of years ago. The Nobel committee hopes that Tunisia’s example of inclusive politics can be a model for neighbouring countries but is that realistic?

(Photo: Ouided Bouchamaoui)

Is Tunisia's example of inclusive politics a realistic model for other countries?

Northern Ireland First Minister - Arlene Foster20161207

Will Brexit mean a return to the divisions of the past?

How will the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland be managed once the UK has left the EU? Sarah Montague asks Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, how she will make sure Brexit does not mean a return to the divisions of the past.

(Photo: First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster arrives for a meeting at 10 Downing St, London, 2016 in , England. Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Novelist Jonathan Franzen2015101420151017 (WS)

So much of our developed world culture is driven by the instant, all pervasive internet. Our opinions, our fantasies, our lives, delivered in bite sized chunks, consumed with a glance and a click. Jonathan Franzen writes novels, long novels, that take years to complete and days, not minutes to read. He has become one of the defining voices in contemporary American literature. So why does he hate so much of the culture around him?

(Photo: Jonathan Franzen. Credit: Getty Images)

American author Jonathan Franzen on his life and work and modern culture

Olympic And America’s Cup Winning Sailor - Sir Ben Ainslie20131030

British four-time gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie on the competitive world of sailing

Hardtalk speaks to the most successful Olympic sailor of all time - British four-time gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie. In September he was part of team USA which enjoyed a spectacular victory against team New Zealand at the America's Cup in San Francisco. But sailing is becoming more and more expensive - with critics saying it is now a niche sport funded by billionaires and enjoyed by the few. How can its appeal be broadened?

(Photo: Sir Ben Ainslie)

Osce Secretary General - Lamberto Zannier20160321

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe has its roots in the cold war - it was a unique platform for dialogue between the West and the Soviet Bloc on matters of security and human rights. But that was then, what about now? Hardtalk speaks to Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General of the OSCE. In a new era of tension between Moscow and the West, how much use is his organisation?

(Photo: OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier delivers a speech during the OSCE-meeting, 2016, Vienna, Austria. Credit: Herbert Neubauer/AFP/Getty Images)

Stephen Sackur speaks to the OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier.

Otmar Issing € European Central Bank Board, 1998 € 20062012100120121002 (WS)

Otmar Issing in conversation with Shaun Ley - does he think the euro can be saved?

Can the euro be saved?

Europe's leaders think so; its central bank says there's no limit to the money it's prepared to spend to defend it.

But is their solution in danger of destroying not just a currency but Europe's union, too? Otmar Issing fears so.

As one of the most senior officials when the European Central Bank was founded, he helped bring the euro into being.

Until this year he advised Germany's Angela Merkel and he remains one of Europe's most influential economic voices.

When the euro was being planned, Otmar Issing believed that political union was essential.

Now he fears that centralising power in Brussels and Frankfurt and sharing financial risk could provoke a public backlash that would wreck both the currency and the continent.

Pakistan's Former Foreign Minister - Hina Rabbani Khar20160502

Yet again Pakistan stands accused of playing a double game on terrorism; confronting it at home, while using it as a foreign policy tool in neighbouring Afghanistan and India. After a deadly Taliban attack in Kabul just days ago the Afghan president demanded that Islamabad stop talking of peace negotiations and instead focus on eliminating Taliban havens inside Pakistan. HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to former Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar and asks, is Pakistan addicted to the double game?

Is Pakistan playing a double game on regional security?

Paolo Gentiloni, Minister Of Foreign Affairs, Italy20160711

HARDtalk’s Zeinab Badawi presents a special edition of the programme from Rome. Migration, the Euro, and of course Brexit are testing the European Union as never before. In Italy there’s talk of another possible blow for the EU. If voters use a forthcoming referendum on constitutional change as a chance to register a protest vote against the country’s centre left government, anti-Euro populist parties may be able to capitalise. HARDtalk speaks to Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Are Italians becoming disillusioned with the EU project?

Are Italians becoming disillusioned with the EU project?

Pascal Lamy € Director General, World Trade Organisation2013012120130122 (WS)

Patrick Chinamasa - Justice Minister Of Zimbabwe20130405

Is the relationship between the UK and Zimbabwe improving?

For years, the UK's relationship with Zimbabwe has been characterised by deep mutual suspicion. But things are beginning to change - the Zimbabwean people have just approved a constitution and the EU has eased its sanctions regime. Stephen Sackur talks to Zimbabwe's justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, a close political ally of Robert Mugabe. His very presence in London is a sign of the new dynamic in Zimbabwe. But are the country's troubles really over?

Paul Conroy - Photographer20120417

From Syria, to Sri Lanka, to Russia, there are journalists ready to put themselves in harm's way to shine a light on some of the darkest corners of conflict, crime and corruption.

What makes them do it? And what difference do they make?

Stephen Sackur speaks to British photo journalist Paul Conroy who was wounded in the Syrian army's bombardment of the city of Homs last February which killed his Sunday Times colleague Marie Colvin.

When, if ever, is telling the story worth risking your life?

Stephen Sackur speaks to British photo journalist Paul Conroy.

Paul Krugman - Nobel Prize Winner For Economics, 200820120601

Stephen Sackur discusses the global economic crisis with economist Paul Krugman.

We are in a depression - unemployment at levels last seen during the thirties, an economic crisis in the Eurozone and the prospect of worse to come.

But the Nobel Prize Winning economist Paul Krugman, thinks none of this needs to be happening and that America and Europe should be richer than they were five years ago - even now it wouldn't take much to solve the problem.

He thinks what debt-ridden governments should be doing is borrowing more to spend their way out of trouble.

(Image: Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman. Credit: Reuters).

Paul Mckeever - Chairman Of The Police Federation Of England And Wales20120611
Pawe Szaamacha - Poland's Finance Minister20160909

Is Poland turning inwards and away from the European Union?

For years Poland has been the poster child of the European Union but not anymore. Its new government has made sweeping changes to its constitution and laws, changes that Brussels says are a threat to Poland's democracy. In return Poland has said its economy is too dependent on foreigners. Is his country set on turning inwards and away from the European Union?

(Photo: Pawel Szalamacha at the annual Ambrosetti Forum in Lake Como, Italy)

Performer And Mental Health Campaigner - Ruby Wax20131122

Long experience of depression took comedian Ruby Wax into neuroscience and psychotherapy

Mental illness is the invisible scourge of modern life, and it comes with a stigma. To admit to depression, or another illness of the mind, has been to risk being labelled as weak, self-indulgent or mad. Ruby Wax wants to change that. She made her name as a comedian and TV entertainer; long experience of depression eventually took her into neuroscience and psychotherapy. Mental illness raises difficult questions, where did she find answers?

Picture: Ruby Wax

Performer And Mental Health Campaigner - Ruby Wax20140103

Long experience of depression took comedian Ruby Wax into neuroscience and psychotherapy

Mental illness is the invisible scourge of modern life, and it comes with a stigma. To admit to depression, or another illness of the mind, has been to risk being labelled as weak, self-indulgent or mad. Ruby Wax wants to change that. She made her name as a comedian and TV entertainer; long experience of depression eventually took her into neuroscience and psychotherapy. Mental illness raises difficult questions, where did she find answers?

Picture: Ruby Wax

Philip Glass - Composer2012050720120508

Philip Glass is driven by a simple question, what is music? So what is his answer?

Philip Glass is one of the most influential and polarising composers of the last fifty years.

His trademark sound is repetitive, rhythmic and hypnotic - some call it musical minimalism. It is a style which has infused his prolific output of symphonies, operas, film scores and even soundtracks for TV commercials.

He has been driven, he says, by a simple question, what is music? So what is his answer?

Philip Glass - Composer2012123120130101 (WS)

Philip Glass has been driven by a simple question - what is music?

Philip Glass is one of the most influential and polarising composers of the last 50 years.

The trademark sound in his prolific output of symphonies, operas and film scores, is repetitive, rhythmic and hypnotic.

He has been driven by a simple question - what is music?

Photographer - David Lachapelle20140616

He has the ability to shock and offend, but does his work go deeper?

Hardtalk is in the gallery district of London’s West End to meet one of the most successful and controversial fashion and celebrity photographers of the last 30 years - David LaChapelle. His story revolves around sex, drugs and provocative pictures. He has the ability to shock and offend, but does his work go deeper?

Pierre Krhenbhl - Director Of Operations, International Committee Of The Red Cross (icrc)20130607

Is the Red Cross being overwhelmed by the danger and complexity of modern conflict?

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is pulling some of its international staff out of Afghanistan, following a murderous attack on its Jalalabad compound. It's an unprecedented move in three decades of ICRC operations in Afghanistan. Stephen Sackur speaks to Pierre Krähenbühl, the ICRC’s operations director. Is his organisation being overwhelmed by the danger and complexity of modern conflict?

(Image: Pierre Krähenbühl, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Political Consultant And Pollster - Frank Luntz2016062420160625 (WS)

Why is American politics in such disarray?

Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? It is still a month until the US Republican and Democrat parties formally nominate their presidential candidates, but this is all but certain to be the choice for Americans in November. Sarah Montague speaks to political consultant and pollster Frank Luntz, who has spent his career listening to how Americans think and feel about politics and politicians. He thinks that voters are angrier than ever before, and that the fracturing of the right and left in American politics means that any outcome is possible.

(Photo: Frank Luntz in the Hardtalk studio)

Political Scientist - Francis Fukuyama20140924

Has a quarter century of global tumult changed his mind about the end of history?

Hardtalk speaks to Francis Fukuyama, one of America's leading political scientists who, 25 years ago, watched the Communist bloc unravel and concluded that history had delivered a conclusive verdict - liberal democracy had vanquished its ideological rivals. How wise does that proposition sound today in Ukraine, Syria, China, or even in credit-crunched Greece? Has a quarter century of global tumult changed his mind about the end of history?

(Photo: Francis Fukuyama)

President Juan Manuel Santos20151120

The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos is the driving force behind a peace process with the armed rebel group, the revolutionary movement: the FARC.

(Photo: President Juan Manuel Santos. Credit: LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos talks to Stephen Sackur in Bogota.

President Of Americans For Tax Reform - Grover Norquist20161012

Influential Conservative tax campaigner Grover Norquist on Donald Trump

The Influential Conservative tax campaigner Grover Norquist talks to Stephen Sackur. Why does he think Donald Trump's policies will help him win the race for the White House?

President Of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis20160527

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur talks to the President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis. They used to call Costa Rica the Switzerland of Latin America; it seemed so much more stable, peaceful and prosperous than its neighbours. But now that image is fading as the country faces a budget crisis, endemic poverty, organised crime and corruption. President Solis came to power promising change, so what’s gone wrong?

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur talks to the President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis.

President Of European Commission - Jose Manuel Barroso20140910

What can his successor expect from the job?

The European Union confronts a host of problems from an economic slowdown inside the Eurozone to the crisis in Ukraine. Jose Manuel Barroso has been president of the European Commission for ten years, but has only two months left in the job. Hardtalk’s Zeinab Badawi talks to him by Lake Como in Italy and asks, how much of a mess is he leaving behind for his successor?

President Of Malawi - Peter Mutharika20151207

Zeinab Badawi speaks to President Peter Mutharika of Malawi. By some measures Malawi is the world’s poorest country, with a list of problems ranging from poor nutrition and a crippling lack of electricity to international concerns about corruption in the political system. Despite relative peace and political stability, Malawi is struggling to make progress. So how much of its failures are down to bad government?

(Photo: Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi addresses the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly. Credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP)

Malawi is struggling to progress. How much of its failures are down to bad government?

President Of Namibia - Hage Geingob20151209

Sarah Montague talks Hage Geingob, the President of Namibia. Namibia is rich in minerals and gemstones so is relatively prosperous with good economic growth. Yet it is one of the most unequal societies in the world. There is extreme poverty with many struggling to get enough food to survive. Hage Geingob declared war on poverty and inequality when he became president, in March this year. Before that he had been prime minister for many of the 25 years since independence, so what difference can he make now?

(Photo: President of Namibia Hage Geingob. Credit: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)

Hage Geingob has declared war on poverty and inequality but can he make a difference?

President Of The Conservatives For Britain Group - Nigel Lawson20160118

The Eurosceptic’s have a historic opportunity – can they seize it?

The British referendum on whether to stay in, or leave, the European Union may well be held this coming summer. It will be a vote of momentous significance for Britain and for the EU. The polls suggest it could be a close run thing. Stephen Sackur talks to Lord Lawson, president of the Conservatives for Britain group, which is campaigning for a British exit in defiance of Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Government’s official strategy. The Eurosceptic’s have a historic opportunity – can they seize it?

(Photo: Lord Lawson on Hardtalk)

President Of Ukraine - Petro Poroshenko20140908

Can Ukraine and Russia avoid all-out war?

There is a consensus view that the crisis in eastern Ukraine represents the most serious threat to Europe's security and stability since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Ukraine and Russia are just a few steps away from all-out war, but right now there are hopes of a ceasefire. So, is there a path back from the brink?

(Photo: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (C) during the 2014 NATO Summit in Newport, Wales. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

President Of Zambia (1964-1991) - Kenneth Kaunda20140331

What has five decades of freedom brought Zambia?

As part of the BBC’s Freedom Season, Zeinab Badawi speaks to Kenneth Kaunda – leader of the struggle for independence, he was sentenced to hard labour in prison by the British before he went on to become Zambia’s first President of the post-colonial era. It is a landmark year for Zambia – this is the 50th anniversary of its independence - and Kenneth Kaunda himself turns 90 in April. What has 50 years of freedom brought the people of Zambia?

Picture: Kenneth Kaunda in 1978, Credit: AFP/GettyImages

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim20160715

HARDtalk’s Zeinab Badawi speaks to Turkey’s Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, in his first extensive international broadcast interview since being sworn into office in May.

HARDtalk’s Zeinab Badawi speaks to Turkey’s Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim

Prime Minister Of Finland - Alexander Stubb20141013

Can the European Union rescue itself from a sense gloom and rising tide of scepticism?

A sense of gloom is hanging over Europe. Years of economic stagnation are at the heart of it, but there are other factors too - for example, the security challenge posed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, and also a rising tide of scepticism about the European Union itself amongst many on the continent. Hardtalk speaks to Alexander Stubb, the Prime Minister of Finland and one of the EU’s new young leaders. How does Europe rescue itself?

Prime Minister Of Italy - Enrico Letta20130911

Can Prime Minister Enrico Letta hold together Italy's fragile coalition of left and right?

Prime Minister Of Norway - Erna Solberg20160205

Norway takes its commitment to international diplomacy and humanitarianism very seriously. The oil rich country is one of the world’s wealthiest with a reputation for humanitarianism so it is not surprising that it is co-hosting a donor conference in London to boost aid for Syria's long suffering people. But the government is receiving criticism for its own stance on migration and asylum issues. Erna Solberg is Norway’s prime minister. Is she putting populism above principle?

(Photo: Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg addresses delegates at the Supporting Syria Conference, London, 2016. Credit: WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway on her country's stance on migration

Prime Minister, Moldova - Iurie Leanca20140730

Can Moldova's bid for EU membership avoid a tug of war between Russia and the EU?

Hardtalk is on location in Chisinau, capital of Moldova where the stage is set for another tug of war between Russia and the European Union. With the backing of the majority Romanian speaking population, Moldova’s government is vigorously pursuing membership of the European Union, despite strong objections from the country’s Russian speaking minority. Stephen Sackur asks Iurie Leanca, Prime Minister of Moldova, if his country can avoid the fate of neighbouring Ukraine?

Prime Minister-designate, Albania - Edi Rama20130719

Can Edi Rama bring a renaissance to Albania where previous politicians have failed?

Albania is the single most corrupt country in Europe according to Transparency International. Hardtalk speaks to Edi Rama, who will become Albania's prime minister in September. A modern artist, he won international plaudits for transforming the capital Tirana when he was its mayor - not least by painting its grey buildings in bright colours. He's now promised a renaissance for the whole country. So can he succeed where previous politicians have failed?

(Photo: Edi Rama. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Professor Robert Reich € United States Secretary Of Labor, 1993-9720160429

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, on the Sanders campaign and Hilary Clinton

It is now all but certain that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party candidate in November’s US presidential election. After the latest batch of primaries, her lead over Bernie Sanders is insurmountable. But even now the Sanders campaign - radical, anti-establishment and crowdfunded - refuses to admit defeat. Hardtalk talks to Robert Reich, formerly Secretary of Labor in Bill Clinton’s administration, now a prominent supporter of Senator Sanders. Has the centre of gravity in the Democratic Party shifted?

(Photo: Professor Robert Reich, speaking from Berkeley, California via video link)

Professor Welshman Ncube2012092120120922 (WS)

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Movement for Democratic Change politician Welshman Ncube

Have opposition politicians in Zimbabwe learned the lessons of the violent and disputed elections in 2008 in which Robert Mugabe and his party Zanu-PF outmanoeuvred the Movement for Democratic Change, and held onto power.

The MDC has since been in an uneasy power-sharing government, in which its main leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is prime minister.

But a breakaway MDC faction led by the Commerce and Industry Minister, Welshman Ncube, is splintering the opposition ahead of fresh elections due by next June.

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Welshman Ncube and asks whether the opposition should be united to better oppose Zanu-PF.

Pyotr Verzilov - Russian Artist And Political Activist2012091420120915 (WS)

To their critics they're publicity hungry blasphemers; to their minds they are feminist punk rockers protesting against what they say is Russian president Vladimir Putin's authoritarianism and sexism.

When three members of the Russian band Pussy Riot were jailed in August, there was an international outcry.

They were found guilty of hooliganism for staging an illegal performance early this year in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of one of the jailed activists, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

Is Pussy Riot's high media profile the result of their shock tactics rather than real political clout?

(Image: Members of the female punk band Pussy Riot (R-L) Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich sit in a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Moscow. Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Files)

Zeinab Badawi talks to the husband of a jailed Russian protester from punk band Pussy Riot

Raffaele Sollecito20130906

Convicted and then cleared of killing Meredith Kercher, and now awaiting a retrial

Six years ago a young English student Meredith Kercher was murdered in Perugia, Italy. The investigative and judicial process which followed was fundamentally flawed. Two people, Meredith's American flatmate Amanda Knox, and Knox's boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito spent four years in prison convicted of Meredith's murder. Two years ago they were acquitted on appeal; later this month they will be retried by a fresh appeal court in Florence. Hardtalk speaks with Raffaele Sollecito. His story has made lurid headlines around the world – but how will it end?

Picture: Raffaele Sollecito, Credit: BBC

Raymond Tshibanda - Minister For Foreign Affairs, Democratic Republic Of Congo2012090520120906 (WS)

With the threat of conflict hanging over the country, what hope is there for the DRC?

The grim threat of renewed conflict hangs over the Democratic Republic of Congo.

An armed rebellion in the East - on the Rwandan border - has already forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

The DRC army is in disarray and the Kinshasa government has been undermined by allegations of electoral fraud and corruption.

Stephen Sackur talks to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raymond Tshibanda.

What hope is there for the Democratic Republic of Congo?

(Image: Democratic Republic of Congo's Minster for Foreign Affairs Raymond Tshibanda. Credit: JUNIOR D.KANNAH/AFP/GettyImages)

Renzo Piano - Architect2013020620130207 (WS)

"If you make something wrong, it's wrong forever" architect Piano Renzo on building design

Renzo Piano is one of the world's most accomplished and feted architects; and one used to dividing opinion. Back in the 1970s he designed Paris's Pompidou Centre and since then has taken on high profile developments all over the globe. His latest creation – The Shard, which is currently Europe's tallest building - is already loved, but it is also loathed. What does the Shard say about us? And why build it so big?

(Image: Renzo Piano, Credit: Getty Images)

Richard Leakey - Chairman Of The Kenya Wildlife Service20151225

Stephen Sackur talks to Richard Leakey, the Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service. Africa's wildlife is one of the wonders of the natural world, but the fate of the continent's elephants, rhinos and big cats is now desperately uncertain - illegal poaching could see these great species disappear from their African heartlands. Will the fight for Africa's endangered wildlife have a happy ending?

(Photo: Richard Leakey (L) gives a press conference organised by Wildlife Direct, in Nairobi, 2014. Credit: Tony Karumba/AFP)

Riek Machar, Former Vice President Of South Sudan20161019

Has South Sudan been betrayed by its leaders?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Riek Machar, former South Sudanese Vice President turned rebel leader. For the people of South Sudan five years of independent nationhood have brought little more than impoverishment, violence and suffering. The world's newest nation is again racked by internal conflict. More than a million people have been forced from their homes and the country's president Salva Kiir, and his nemesis Riek Machar are again at each other’s throats. Has South Sudan been betrayed by its leaders?

(Photo: South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar gestures as he holds a press conference in Kampala, 2016. Credit: Isaac Kasamani/AFP,Getty Images)

Rob Davies - South Africa's Minister For Trade And Industry2012082420120825 (WS)

Stephen Sackur talks to Rob Davies, South Africa’s Minister for Trade and Industry.

The labour unrest in South Africa’s platinum mines has claimed the lives of dozens and produced the kind of violence not seen since apartheid.

The strike has driven up the cost of platinum prices and shaken investor confidence. It has also drawn the world’s attention to the low wages and poor working conditions of South Africa’s miners.

Is the call to invest in Africa’s biggest economy being stifled by the rage against social and economic disparity?

(Image: Rob Davies addressing the media at the TIME / FORTUNE / CNN Global Forum in June 2010. Credit: Getty Images)

Roberto Azevdo, Director General Of The Wto20161104

Stephen Sackur talks to Roberto Azevêdo, Director General of the World Trade Organisation

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Roberto Azevêdo, the Director General of the World Trade Organisation, an institution dedicated to banning protectionism and freeing up global trade. But maybe the WTO is out of step with the spirit of the age. From Donald Trump’s protectionist messages to the Brexit vote in Britain. There seems to be a backlash against economic globalisation. So, is the WTO swimming against a powerful tide?

Rudy Giuliani: Former Mayor Of New York2011090920110910

Ten years on how much have Rudy Giuliani and the US been changed by 9/11?

It’s ten years since the two mighty towers of the World Trade Center were reduced to dust and ash.

On 9/11, in New York, Osama Bin Laden inflicted a grievous wound on the United States.

This week the US is immersed in memories of the attack and what came after.

Stephen Sackur’s guest in this special edition of Hardtlk was the mayor of New York city on its darkest day, Rudy Giuliani.

His response back then earned him the title 'America's mayor' and he won worldwide admiration, but ten years on how much have he and his country been changed by 9/11?

Rupert Everett - Actor2013011420130115 (WS)

Russian Journalist And Author - Mikhail Zygar20161107

How firm is Vladimir Putin’s grip on power?

Stephen Sackur speaks to journalist Mikhail Zygar, who has written a book about the powerful groups of people around Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and their influence on decision making. President Putin has been criticised in the West as a ruthless authoritarian ruler determined to revive imperialist ambitions. But is it a mistake to invest him with such transformative power and strategic vision?

Sren Espersen - Deputy Chairman, Danish People’s Party20160212

The Danish People's Party is seen by its critics as xenophobic and by its supporters as the home of true Danish values. Hardtalk speaks Søren Espersen, the Party's deputy chairman.

(Photo: Søren Espersen)

Søren Espersen on immigration and Danish values

Said Ferjani - Ennahda Political Party, Tunisia20120312

Is Tunisia a model which the rest of the Arab world can follow?

Tunisia is the first Arab nation to be transformed by people power but how successful has the transition to democracy been?

Stephen Sackur talks to Said Ferjani who is a key figure in the Ennahda Movement - the moderate Islamist political party which dominates the democratically elected Tunisian government.

Ennahda says it is committed to building a Muslim democracy.

Said Ferjani - Ennahda Political Party, Tunisia20120313

Is Tunisia a model which the rest of the Arab world can follow?

Salih Muslim Mohammed € Democratic Union Party, Syria20140702

What does the advance of Isis mean for moderate secular opposition groups inside Syria?

The extremist group Isis is expanding its foothold in Syria, after its recent gains in neighbouring Iraq. The first town it seized was Raqqa in northern Syria a year ago; it holds parts of Aleppo province in the north as well as more territory on the border with Iraq. Isis is now engaging in battles with other rebel groups in Syria, splintering efforts by the opposition who now find themselves battling both Isis forces and government troops. What does the advance of Isis mean for moderate secular opposition groups inside Syria? Hardtalk speaks to Salih Muslim Mohammed, leader of the Syrian Kurdish Party, the PYD, which is part of the National Co-ordination Body for Democratic Change, a secular, pro-democracy coalition inside Syria.

(Photo: Salih Muslim, head of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) receives condolences after his son is killed. Credit: Fabio Bucciarelli/AFP/Getty Images)

Samantha Geimer2013091820130922 (WS)

The woman at the centre of the Roman Polanski child sex scandal in 1978 tells her story

Satirist - Pieter-dirk Uys20161223

Are there dangers in playing South Africa's recent history for laughs?

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to South African satirist, Pieter Dirk Uys. Leaders who routinely abuse their power cannot stand to be laughed at. Satire is a potent political weapon. That's a truth my guest today has exploited for forty years. Pieter Dirk Uys styles himself as "the most famous white woman in South Africa." Thanks to his alter ego Auntie Evita; a character he created to poke fun at the white Afrikaner establishment during the apartheid era, and which he now uses to lampoon Jacob Zuma and the ANC. Are there dangers in playing South Africa's recent history for laughs?

Saudi Arabia And Iran In The Spotlight2016011520160116 (WS)

Stephen Sackur talks to the political analysts Mohammad Marandi in Tehran and Jamal Khashoggi in Jeddah. Is there any way to take the heat out of the Saudi-Iranian confrontation?

(Photo: Prof Mohammad Marandi, Univesity of Tehran (L) and Jamal Khashoggi, columnist and author)

Is there any way to take the heat out of the Saudi-Iranian confrontation?

Secretary General, Palestine Liberation Organisation - Saeb Erekat20151104

Stephen Sackur speaks to veteran Palestinian negotiator and secretary general of the PLO Saeb Erekat. Why are so many mostly young Palestinians intent on killing Israeli Jews with whatever weapons they can lay their hands on? The Israeli Government blames the surge in violence on hate fuelled incitement sanctioned by the Palestinian authorities. The Palestinians say it is a response to the intolerable conditions of occupation. Is a new wave of extremism sweeping the West Bank and Gaza?

(Photo: Saeb Erekat. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Is a new wave of extremism sweeping the West Bank and Gaza?

Selim Yenel € Turkey’s Ambassador To The European Union20160304

Stephen Sackur speaks to Selim Yenel, Turkey’s Ambassador to the European Union.

120,000 migrants and refugees made the sea crossing from Turkey to Greece in the first two months of this year, outstripping the number for the first six months of last year. This happened despite an EU-Turkey deal to stem the flow of desperate people. Ankara feels overburdened and undervalued, while frustration with Turkey is mounting in Brussels, Washington, and Moscow. Selim Yenel is Turkey's EU ambassador. Is his Government treading a dangerous path?

(Photo: Selim Yenel, Turkish Ambassador to the EU)

Senior Saudi Interior Ministry Official - Major General Mansour Al-turki20160203

The oil rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia is facing uncertain times. Its monarchy, wedded to a conservative brand of Sunni Islam, is locked in a struggle for regional power with Shia Iran which is playing out in the conflicts in Yemen and Syria. Its relations with the US are strained and its human rights record has been widely condemned. Major General Mansour al-Turki is a senior Interior Ministry official. Is the House of Saud in need of major repair?

(Photo: Major General Mansour al-Turki on Hardtalk)

Saudi Arabia faces economic and political instability - is the House of Saud in trouble?

Sergei Guriev € Russian Economist20130626

Why has one of Russia's brightest economists, Sergei Guriev, chosen to live in exile?

Sergei Guriev is one of modern Russia's best and brightest economists. Well connected to the new Russian political elite, Guriev was a strong voice for economic liberalisation and is a Russian patriot. So why, earlier this year, did he choose - as so many talented Russians have in the past - to go into exile? And what does Guriev's extraordinary story tell us about the true face of Vladimir Putin's Russia?

(Image: Sergei Guriev (left) attends a meeting with premier Dmitry Medvedev (right) in Moscow. Credit: Associated Press)

Sevgi Akareme, Editor In Chief "today's Zaman", Turkey20160318

Stephen Sackur speaks to Sevgi Akarçeşme, Editor in Chief "Today's Zaman", Turkey.

Journalism in Turkey is a precarious business. Earlier this month the country's biggest selling newspaper was forcibly taken over by the government, a host of journalists have been locked up for insulting the nation and its institutions, or for aiding terrorists. All this in a nation beset with diplomatic, security and humanitarian challenges. HARDtalk speaks to Sevgi Akarçeşme, who was editor of the English language “Today's Zaman? newspaper until the state booted her out. How close is Turkey to authoritarian rule?

Shadow Foreign Secretary, Uk - Hilary Benn20160513

Does UK Labour's sharp turn to the left look like a winning strategy?

After the British Labour Party suffered a crushing election defeat a year ago, the shell-shocked party took a dramatic turn to the left. New leader Jeremy Corbyn presented himself as the anti-austerity, anti-war antithesis of Tony Blair's new Labour. So, how is the Corbyn formula working? HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to Labour stalwart, shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn and asks, does Labour present a credible alternative to the Cameron government?

Shahbaz Taseer - Former Hostage, 2011-201620160725

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Shahbaz Taseer, Pakistani businessman, recently released by the Taliban after nearly five years of captivity, during which he endured constant torture. He is the son of the former governor of Punjab who was assassinated in 2011 for his opposition to tough blasphemy laws. Has the vision of a tolerant, secular Pakistan been lost?

(Photo: Shahbaz Taseer in the Hardtalk studio)

Has the vision of a tolerant, secular Pakistan been lost?

Sharon Bowles - Chair, Eu Economic And Monetary Affairs Committee2012081520120816 (WS)

This week, Sharon Bowles from the EU Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

Katya Adler speaks to Sharon Bowles, Chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

The Eurozone crisis has been a test not only for Europe's politicians but also its institutions. The European Union's response to the economic turbulence in its midst has been criticised as too slow and ineffective.

Sharon Bowles is at the heart of the EU’s decision-making process and has a big say in how new economic legislation is drafted - but will it work?

(Image: Sharon Bowles. Credit: John Thys / AFP / Getty Images)

Sheikh Hasina - Prime Minister Of Bangladesh20120730

Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, speaks to Stephen Sackur

Sheikh Hasina has been Prime Minister of Bangladesh for the last three and a half years. It’s her second term in office and throughout her time at the top she’s attracted controversy and criticism in equal measure.

Bangladesh is densely populated, desperately poor and riven with corruption and political violence.

Back in 2009 Sheikh Hasina vowed to clean up government and heal the country’s divisions. So what’s gone wrong?

(Image: Sheikh Hasina. Credit: Getty Images)

Sheriff Of Maricopa County, Arizona (1993-2016) - Joe Arpaio20171025

Did Joe Arpaio betray the American values he pledged to uphold?

Did Joe Arpaio betray the American values he pledged to uphold ? In the United States the sheriff has always had a special status as the defender of their community, the embodiment of law, justice and the American way. But sheriffs can be politically controversial figures too. Stephen Sackur speaks to Joe Arpaio, who was the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona for 24 years until last year. A self styled tough guy convicted of criminal contempt and controversially pardoned by president Donald Trump just two months ago.

(Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a Trump campaign, 2016. Credit: Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Sir Alan Parker - Film Director20130522

In this digital age, are movies as central to our culture as they used to be?

Sir Alan Parker is one of Britain's most experienced and successful film directors. His work ranges from the stomach churning realism of Midnight Express to the feel good entertainment of Bugsy Malone and Fame. He has never cared much for film critics and has always held strong views on the future of the film industry - in this digital age, are movies as central to our culture as they used to be?

Sir Geoffrey Nice - British Barrister2012090320120904 (WS)

Stephen Sackur talks to the British barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice.

In the 10 year life of the International Criminal Court every case prosecuted and every suspect charged has come from Africa. Why?

The ICC is supposed to be the court of last resort for victims of egregious human rights abuse all over the world.

Stephen Sackur talks to the British barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice who led the Hague tribunal prosecution of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević and asks if the ICC has been a disappointment?

Sir Geoffrey Nice Qc - Barrister2012122420121225 (WS)

Stephen Sackur talks to Sir Geoffrey Nice who led the prosecution of Slobodan Milosević

Stephen Sackur talks to the British barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice who led the Hague tribunal prosecution of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosević and asks if the ICC has been a disappointment.

(Image: The prosecutors during the second day of trial of Slobodan Milosevic at the International Criminal Tribunal. From left: Dirk Ryneveld, Carla del Ponte and Geoffrey Nice. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Sir Mark Walport - Director, Wellcome Trust20120324

In a special edition of Hardtalk, recorded in front of an audience in the village of Portmeirion in North Wales, Stephen Sackur talks to Sir Mark Walport the Director of the Wellcome Trust.

One of the world's most important funding institutions for biomedical research, it distributes close to a billion dollars' worth of grants every year.

Much of it goes to cutting edge genetic research which promises to transform human healthcare, but also raises profound ethical questions.

Our scientific knowledge is expanding but what about the wisdom with which we use it?

Stephen Sackur talks to Sir Mark Walport the Director of the Wellcome Trust.

Sir Tim Rice - Lyricist, Writer And Composer2012060420120605

Gavin Esler speaks to one of the greatest lyricists of his generation, Sir Tim Rice.

Even if you have not seen his shows, you will have heard his songs.

For works such as Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Lion King, Sir Tim Rice is regarded as one of the greatest lyricists of his generation.

After a break from songwriting which lasted ten years, he is completing a new work, so what tempted him back?

Why are there so few truly original musicals nowadays and why has he made it clear that he is very unlikely to work with his one time collaborator Andrew Lloyd Webber ever again?

(Image: Lyricist, writer and composer Sir Tim Rice's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, California. Credit: Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Slavoj Zizek, Marxist Philosopher2010011220100113 (WS)

Stephen Sackur talks to the controversial communist philosopher, Slavoj Zizek.

Slavoj Zizek is one of the world's most controversial political philosophers. From the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the global financial meltdown he portrays a liberal capitalist system in crisis.

He still calls himself a communist but describes its 20th century version as a total failure. But how seriously should we take a man who sees the good in Stalin?

He talks to Stephen Sackur.

South African Rugby Team Captain, 1993 - 1996: Francois Pienaar20131211

Are hope and optimism is still alive for the 'Rainbow Nation'?

Francois Pienaar was captain of the South African rugby team when it won the World Cup in 1995. Before the game Nelson Mandela walked into the stadium in Johannesburg wearing the Springbok rugby jersey, which was once seen as a symbol of white minority rule. It came to be viewed as a defining moment for the emerging ‘Rainbow Nation’. Francois Pienaar went on to develop a friendship with Nelson Mandela. George Alagiah asks him whether the hope and optimism generated that day is still alive today.

(Photo: Springbok captain Francois Pienaar (R) receives the Rugby World Cup from President Nelson Mandela at Ellis Park, Johannesburg, June 1995. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

South African Trade Minister - Rob Davies20160506

South Africa's president Jacob Zuma is on the ropes. In recent months he's been dealt blow after blow - by the courts, by political opponents, even by erstwhile friends. Only the knee-jerk loyalty of the ANC has saved him from impeachment and disgrace. HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to South Africa's trade and industry minister Rob Davies and asks: if the president won’t jump, does he need to be pushed, for the good of the country?

Image: Rob Davies Minister of Trade and Industry, Credit: Michelly Rall/Getty Images

Does South Africa's President Jacob Zuma need to go?

Special Assistant To The Us Ambassador To Iraq, 2003 - 2009, Ali Khedery20140822

What is Barack Obama's strategy in the Middle East?

American warplanes are once again attacking targets in Iraq, ordered into action by a President who made it his business to end US military involvement in the country. To his critics it's one more piece of evidence pointing to an incoherence of Barack Obama's strategy in a region becoming ever more unstable and dangerous. Hardtalk speaks to Ali Khedery, a former adviser to a number of US ambassadors in Baghdad.

Steven Ciobo - Australia's Minister For Trade,tourism And Investment2016102820161029 (WS)
20161030 (WS)

Is there a growing disillusionment with globalisation and big trade deals?

Stephen Sackur talks to Steven Ciobo Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Australia is having pre Brexit talks with the UK while negotiating a big free trade deal with the European Union. But with the recent demonstrations against similar deals with the United States and Canada, Stephen Sackur asks if the public tiring of globalisation and big trade deals. Could Australia feel the fall out from growing disillusion with globalisation?

(Photo: Steven Ciobo speaks at a press conference in Sydney, 2016. Credit: William West/AFP/Getty Images)

Suha Arafat, Widow Of Yasser Arafat20150828

Earlier this year Zeinab Badawi went to Malta to meet Suha Arafat - the widow of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Ten years after his death, Mrs Arafat gave a rare broadcast interview about their marriage and tells her why she believes her husband was assassinated and why she has chosen to live in Malta and not amongst the Palestinian people who so revered him.

(Photo: Suha Arafat. Credit: Matthew Mirabelli/AFP/Getty)

Earlier this year Suha Arafat, the widow of Yasser Arafat, spoke to Zeinab Badawi.

Swedish Foreign Minister - Carl Bildt20140711

What is the future direction of the European Union?

The European Parliament are selecting a new set of officials including the key post of commission president. The choice of EU insider Jean-Claude Juncker has led to a bitter and public row between the UK and other member states. How far has this damaged the reputation of the EU and what does it tell us about the future direction of the European Union? Hardtalk speaks to one of the EU's most experienced politicians, Sweden's Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt.

Picture: Carl Bildt, Credit: Marko Mumm/AFP/Getty Images

Sylvia Earle - Oceanographer20111226

Stephen Sackur talks to the world renowned American oceanographer, Sylvia Earle.

Sylvia Earle is one of the world's most remarkable marine scientists and explorers.

In her five decades of diving she has done some of the deepest and most-challenging dives in history.

Her work has led her to catalogue increasing declines in the world's stocks of fish and coral.

Now aged 77, she talks to Stephen Sackur about her life and work as an oceanographer and explains why she thinks our planet is in grave peril.

Sylvia Earle - Oceanographer20111227

Stephen Sackur talks to the world renowned American oceanographer, Sylvia Earle.

Tarek Al-hashimi - Vice President Of Iraq2012083120120901 (WS)

Tarek al-Hashimi is in a very strange position: he is Iraq's vice president but right now he is a de facto fugitive in Turkey. He is being tried in absentia on charges of sponsoring death squads inside Iraq.

The conflict in Syria is fuelling sectarian tension across the Middle East.

In neighbouring Iraq a political and security crisis has deepened in the last year.

What hope is there for justice or peace in a region in the grip of sectarian strife?

(Image: Iraq's Vice President Tarek al-Hashimi. Credit: AFP / Getty Images)

Stephen Sackur speaks to Tarek al-Hashimi, Iraq's vice president.

The Foreign Minister Of Finland, Timo Soini20160323

Timo Soini, leader of The Finns right wing populist party on sharing power

Nationalist, anti-immigrant parties have made inroads in a host of countries in Europe, for example Hungary, Denmark and Finland. In Finland a right wing populist party, The Finns, is a significant player in a centre right coalition government. Stephen Sackur talks to Timo Soini, their leader and the nation's Foreign Minister. What happens to populists when they are faced with the compromises that come with sharing power?

(Photo: Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini. Credit: Mark Graham/AFP)

Thomas Piketty - Economist20140714

His thesis on modern captialism is under intense fire but is Thomas Piketty unscathed?

Just occasionally a big idea makes waves across the world. Hardtalk speaks to French economist Thomas Piketty whose book Capital in the 21st Century, has become an unlikely international bestseller. His thesis carries echoes of Karl Marx - modern capitalism, he believes, works in favour of entrenched wealth and exacerbates inequality. His research and conclusions have come under intense fire - has Thomas Piketty emerged unscathed?

Timo Soini - Leader, The Finns Party2013030820130309 (WS)

A Finnish nationalist wants to see the Eurozone dismantled.

Europe's prolonged economic crisis has prompted a populist backlash against the powers that be. In Finland, the EU's prosperous northern outpost, the big beneficiary has been Timo Soini, leader of the Eurosceptic, nationalist party long known as the True Finns.

He wants to see the Eurozone dismantled, immigration curbed, traditional values restored. Critics have labelled the party xenophobic - is this the angry politics of European disintegration?

(Image: Timo Soini. Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Tina Brown2010011920100120 (WS)

One of the most influential US media editors reflects on Obama's first year in office.

Tina Brown has enjoyed a high octane media career, which says much about change in the industry. She edited glossy magazines, she was queen of the media scene in London and New York, but she ditched paper and ink to run a news and views website which offers content from diverse sources for free.

In an interview for Hardtalk, Tina Brown, the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Beast, talks to Stephen Sackur about the state of American politics. Was the hype over Obama justified?

Tony And Jane Nicklinson20110903

Should the law ever give one human being the right to kill another?

That is the question at the heart of this special edition of Hardtalk which comes from the home of Tony and Jane Nicklinson.

Tony is completely paralysed; he wants to die.

Jane wants to help him but currently British law stands in their way.

Stephen Sackur asks if Tony were to be killed would it be murder or mercy?

Tourism Minister, Zimbabwe - Walter Mzembi20141117

Can Zimbabwe’s international isolation be put to an end?

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is 90 years old. His grip on power is still tight but it won’t last forever. In recent months the jostling for the succession has turned into a public punch-up - adding to the uncertainty in a country beset with political and economic problems. Hardtalk speaks to Zimbabwe's Tourism Minister, Walter Mzembi. He wants to put an end to his country's international isolation. How can that happen while the old guard remains in place?

(Photo: Walter Mzembi. Tourism Minister, Zimbabwe. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Tracey Emin - Artist20120606

Stephen Sackur talks to artist Tracey Emin about her life, work and latest exhibition.

Stephen Sackur talks to the newsmakers and personalities from across the globe.

Hardtalk is in Margate, a traditional English seaside town, home to the new Turner Contemporary art gallery.

Stephen Sackur speaks to Tracey Emin, the artist of international renown who was raised in Margate and has a major exhibition based in her old home town.

Her work has always been deeply personal - a frank exploration of her sexuality, her relationships, her life.

She has made an extraordinary journey from wild youth to pillar of the cultural establishment - just how blurred is the line between her art and her life?

(Image: Tracey Emin unveils her new exhibition at the Turner Contemporary in Margate. Credit: Getty Images).

Tv And Film Producer - Tony Garnett20160727

Was producer Tony Garnett's work motivated by the dark corners of his own life?

Stephen Sackur talks to the film and TV producer Tony Garnett. Watching TV is something pretty much all of us do for news, sport and entertainment, but how much of what we stare at on the box do we actually remember? His subjects of homelessness, illegal abortion, police corruption point to his radicalism - he uncovered dark corners of British life. How much of his motivation came from the dark corners in his own life?

(Photo: Tony Garnett in the Hardtalk studio)

Tv Host - Jerry Springer20140801

Critics say his show is cynical and manipulative TV, but does he care?

Stephen Sackur speaks to the king of tabloid trash-talking television in the United States - Jerry Springer. His show specialises in dysfunctional relationships and sex. His guests curse, throw chairs and sometimes fight. Critics call it cynical and manipulative TV, but it’s made him famous and rich. So does he care?

Tyler Hamilton - Former Professional Cyclist2012091220120913 (WS)

For years, it's been one of the biggest questions in sport.

Did Lance Armstrong - the seven time winner of cycling's greatest race, the Tour de France - dope?

Is the man who beat cancer to become one of the greatest sporting figures ever - a cheat?

Armstrong has denied wrongdoing.

But now a former teammate and roommate of Armstrong's, Tyler Hamilton, has produced the most detailed and wounding set of allegations yet.

Is Hamilton self-serving and greedy, as Armstrong insists?

Or a shaft of light on a sport that's been mired in murk?

(Image: US cyclist Tyler Hamilton. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Tim Franks in conversation with former professional cyclist Tyler Hamilton.

Uk Ambassador To Lebanon (2011-2015) - Tom Fletcher20160603

What is the point of the modern day diplomat?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Tom Fletcher who was appointed British Ambassador to Lebanon at the tender age of 36. Five years on he has just written an operational review of the UK’s Foreign Office. What is the point of the modern day diplomat? Theirs is a world of fortified embassies, chauffeured limousines, and elaborate protocol, but in this globalised internet age, what kind of value do they add? Is diplomacy as we know it dead?

Uk Deputy Prime Minister 1995-1997- Lord Heseltine20140926

The Scottish people voted 'No' to independence, but they may just have changed British politics forever. More powers are to be handed to the Scottish parliament and now English MPs want their own form of self-determination. Right across this supposedly united kingdom, alienation from the Westminster status quo is fuelling calls for reform. Hardtalk speaks to former Conservative cabinet minister, Lord Heseltine. Is the UK in the throes of a dangerous identity crisis?

Picture: Michael Hestletine, Credit: Chris Jackson/AFP/Getty Images

Uk Deputy Prime Minister, 2010 - 2015 - Nick Clegg20160919

Stephen Sackur speaks to Nick Clegg, former UK Deputy Prime Minister. Elected Politicians tend to lose their grip on power and prestige with brutal speed. For Five years Nick Clegg was Britain's Deputy Prime minister, the Liberal Democrat who entered a coalition with the conservatives and gave his party its first real taste of power in generations. And then came the 2015 general election. His party was annihilated. He took much of the blame. His brand of liberal, pro-European politics now looks like badly damaged goods. Is there anyone to blame but himself?

(Photo: Former leader Nick Clegg speaks at the Liberal Democrats annual conference 2015, Bournemouth, England. Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on liberal, pro-European politics

Un Special Representative To Afghanistan - Jan Kubis20140421

Is the outside world losing interest in Afghanistan's fate?

Afghanistan is in a state of transition: the Karzai era is over, but what comes next? Afghans voted for a new president earlier this month, but it will be weeks, possibly months, before a winner is declared. And without new leadership, key decisions on security, diplomacy and internal reform cannot be made. Hardtalk speaks to the UN’s special representative in Kabul, Jan Kubis. Is the outside world losing interest in Afghanistan's fate?

Jan Kubis, Credit: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

Us Ambassador To Syria 2011-2014 - Robert S. Ford20151019

What does Syria tell us about US foreign policy making in the age of Obama?

Stephen Sackur talks to Robert S. Ford, US Ambassador to Syria until last year. The escalation of Russia's military involvement in Syria has been greeted with dismay in Washington. Vladimir Putin hasn't just shifted the military balance in favour of the Assad regime, he has also exposed the lack of decisiveness and clarity in President Obama's Syria strategy. What does Syria tell us about US foreign policy making in the age of Obama?

(Photo: Robert S. Ford)

Us Ambassador To The Uk - Matthew Barzun2015103020151031 (WS)

By the time George W Bush left the White House, perceptions of the United States in the wider world were overwhelmingly negative. As the Obama presidency enters its final phase, how have attitudes shifted? The promise was clear - a greater focus on soft rather than hard power and a “yes we can? commitment to healing political wounds at home and abroad. Stephen Sackur speaks to the US ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun, a close Obama ally. Has the promise been fulfilled?

As the Obama presidency enters its final phase how have attitudes towards the US shifted?

Us Congresswoman - Donna Edwards (democrat)2016041520160416 (WS)

The rules of US politics are being rewritten in this electoral season. The Republican Party has been shaken to its core by the rise of Donald Trump while the Democratic contest for the presidential nomination is really a struggle for the soul of the party. The contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is a choice between the centrist establishment favourite and the self-styled socialist progressive insugent. Congreswoman Donna Edwards from Maryland is a powerful voice on the left of the Party. She's running for a seat in the Senate. But is America ready for genuinely left-wing politics?

Is America ready for genuinely left-wing politics? American Democrats must decide.

Us Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State For Iran, 2009-2010 - John Limbert20131002

Are the US and Iran ready for the difficult decisions that would truly reset relations?

For the second time in his presidency Barack Obama is eyeing the 'reset button' in his diplomatic toolkit. With Russia it misfired, so when it comes to Iran, what are the chances of overcoming three decades of hostility? Hardtalk speaks to John Limbert, the state department's point man on Iran in Obama's first term - and one of the US diplomats held hostage in Tehran 34 years ago. Are the US and Iran ready for the difficult decisions that would truly reset relations?

Us Senator - Lindsey Graham20160907

United States Senator Lindsey Graham talks about foreign policy and the presidential race

Sarah Montague speaks to United States Senator Lindsey Graham about American foreign policy and why he thinks Donald Trump is not fit to be president.

(Photo: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) gives a speech where he announced his candidacy for US President, 1 June, 2015. Credit: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Venezuelan Opposition Leader - Maria Corina Machado20160718

Venezuela's economy is in meltdown. It's shrinking faster than any other country in the world. Inflation is at nearly 500% and most people say they can no longer afford to buy enough food. Maria Corina Machado has led street protests and is calling on all Venezuelans - including the military - to force President Maduro to resign. He is accusing her of plotting a coup.

Is the opposition in Venezuela plotting a coup against President Maduro?

Vice President Of Panama - Isabel De Saint Malo De Alvarado20160307

For a tiny Central American nation Panama packs quite an international punch - it has the Canal, a key asset to international shipping and it has a financial sector which specialises in parking the cash of people who want to keep their wealth from prying eyes. During the notorious regime of Manuel Noriega it also developed a reputation for dodgy governance but that was a generation ago. Stephen Sackur speaks with Vice President Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado. Has Panama cleaned up its act?

(Photo: Vice President Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado)

A generation after the crooked rule of General Noriega has Panama cleaned up it's act?

Victor Ponta - Prime Minister Of Romania2013032020130321 (WS)

At the end of 2013, Romanians will be able to live and work in any EU country they want to. All work restrictions, imposed by some countries when Romania and Bulgaria joined the union six years ago, will be lifted. There were worries then that workers from those two impoverished European states would flock to richer nations, and such concerns have not gone away. Zeinab Badawi speaks to Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta. He's on a mission to restore his country's image. Can he succeed?

(Image: Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta. Credit: AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Vladimir Chizhov - Russian Ambassador To The Eu20160404

The United States is beefing up its military presence in Europe. Hardtalk asks Russia's Ambassador to the EU if the Kremlin can sustain a long-term confrontation with the West?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Vladimir Chizhov - the Russian Ambassador to the EU

Werner Herzog, Film Director20150824

Draw up a list of the greatest living film-makers and Werner Herzog would surely occupy a prominent place. He is responsible for some of the most wildly beautiful images captured on film. If you have seen Fitzcarraldo you won’t have forgotten the steamship being hauled over a mountain. He is seen as the film industry's obsessive genius, the director who once threatened to shoot his lead actor to prevent him quitting. After five decades making movies, is Werner Herzog's love of film as intense as ever?

(Photo: Werner Herzog with an award during the Lola - German Film Awards in 2013. Credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

After five decades making movies, is Werner Herzog's love of film as intense as ever?

Writer And Publisher - Jrgen Todenhfer20150831

What motivates the jihadi fighters?

Stephen Sackur speaks to writer and publisher Jürgen Todenhöfer, who embarked on one of the most hazardous journeys imaginable for a western journalist. Last December, the 74-year-old German spent 10 days inside the territory controlled by the so-called Islamic State movement. He was taken to the group's base in Raqqa, Syria, and then to their most highly prized asset in Iraq - the northern city of Mosul. He emerged unscathed with a remarkable story. What motivates the jihadist fighters?

Writer, Colm Tibn20151223

The award winning writer, Colm Tóibín, talks to Stephen Sackur.

Colm Tóibín is an Irish writer whose intense, lyrical novels have won him awards, acclaim and most importantly millions of readers around the world. There are recurring themes in his work - loss, mourning, exile which might suggest a dark, brooding presence. Stephen Sackur asks how close that is to the real Colm Tóibín?

(Photo: Colm Tóibín in the Hardtalk studio)

Xavier Rolet - Chief Executive, London Stock Exchange Group2012090720120908 (WS)

Xavier Rolet talks about whether financial markets have learned the right lessons.

The 2008 banking crash prompted a prolonged crisis of confidence in the financial institutions and markets that underpin Western capitalism.

Governments on both sides of the Atlantic have tried to recalibrate the balance between risk and reward and to encourage genuine wealth creation rather than short term speculation.

Xavier Rolet is the CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group.

Have financial markets learned the right lessons from recent history?

(Image: Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Copyright London Stock Exchange press office handout)

Yair Lapid - Leader, Yesh Atid Party, Israel20151023

What is driving the latest violence between Israelis and Palestinians?

The latest paroxysm of violence between Israelis and Palestinians has conjured up a host of horrifying images. Israelis stabbed in random street attacks. Palestinian suspects shot dead by Israeli police when seemingly no longer a threat. An innocent bystander beaten to death by an incensed Israeli crowd. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Yair Lapid, former minister and leader of the Yesh Atid party. He's called on Israelis to shoot to kill at the first sign of danger. Will that kind of language enhance anyone's security?

(Photo: Yair Lapid - Leader, Yesh Atid Party in Israel. Credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Yiannis Milios € Economic Advisor Of The Syriza Party, Greece2012053020120531
20120531 (WS)

The people of Greece shocked the rest of Europe with the results of their parliamentary elections on 6 May 2012. No party had a clear majority and the Syriza coalition of the radical left was put in second place.

Syriza opposes the bailout package or 'memorandum' which gives Greece billions of euros in exchange for a very tough austerity package of cuts and tax increases.

Gavin Esler speaks to Syriza's top economic adviser Yiannis Milios and asks what will happen if the party wins the re-run election on 17 June 2012. Do they really believe they can stay in the Eurozone while tearing up the rules?

(Image: A woman voting in the Greek elections of 6 May. Credit: AFP / Angelos Tzortzinis)

Zoltan Kovacs - Hungarian Minister Of State For Government Communication2012011620120117
Zoran Milanovic € Prime Minister, Croatia20130524

Will Croatia's accession to the EU be a benefit or a hinderance to both sides?

01Chairman And Founder Of Jd Wetherspoon - Tim Martin20160422

The battle for Britain's future -- in or out of the European Union -- will be settled In just two months’ time. Advocates of a vote to remain, led by the prime minister David Cameron, see economic arguments as their most potent weapon; Brexit, they claim, will come at a crippling cost in terms of jobs, investment and growth. Many business leaders seem to agree but by no means all. Stephen Sackur talks to Tim Martin, founder and chairman of the pub chain JD Wetherspoon. Could Brexit make economic sense?

(Photo: Tim Martin in the Hardtalk studio)

A voice from the business world makes the case for Brexit. Could it make economic sense?

01Civil Rights Activist - Rachel Dolezal20160427

Is our racial identity something we can define for ourselves?

As part of the BBC's identity season, Stephen Sackur talks to Rachel Dolezal, the ostensibly black American human rights activist whose life unravelled last year when it turned out that she was the daughter of white parents. So what gives us our sense of who we are? Our upbringing and our communities both have a huge impact, but what about the most basic pillars of identity that we tend to regard as immutable? Is our racial identity something we can define for ourselves?

(Photo: Rachel Dolezal in the Hardtalk studio)

01Commanding General, United States Army Europe - Ben Hodges20160620

Presenter Stephen Sackur meets US Army Europe commander Ben Hodges in northern Poland, where forces from more than 20 Nato countries are involved in Operation Anaconda, the biggest military exercise on European soil since the end of the Cold War. So is Nato in any fit state to respond to the potential threat from Putin’s Russia?

(Photo: Lt Gen Ben Hodges, commander of US Army Europe, at a briefing in the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, 2015. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Is Nato in any fit state to respond to the potential threat from Putin’s Russia?

01Economist - Steve Keen20160819

Stephen Sackur talks to the influential contrarian economist, Steve Keen. It's a good time to be an economist who swims against the tide of conventional wisdom. After all the last decade has seen classical economics take a beating: the great financial crash wasn't supposed to happen, nor was the prolonged eurozone stagnation. Now the liberal economic consensus tells us that Brexit will be a disaster, but should we believe it? Amid all the argument do any economists deserve our trust?

Picture: a pile of coins, Credit: Thinkstock

After their failure to predict the crises of the past decade, should we trust economists?

01Foreign Minister Of Lithuania - Linas Linkevi?ius20161205

What impact will the election of Donald Trump have on global geopolitics? Judging from the expressions of alarm coming from eastern Europe it could tilt the balance of power decisively in favour of Russia as regional tensions rise. But is that just scaremongering? Stephen Sackur talks to Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius who recently described himself as "very afraid" of Russia's intentions in the region.

(Photo: Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius at the Baltic and Nordic Foreign Ministers meeting in Riga, Latvia, 2016. Credit: Ilmars Znotins/AFP/Getty Images)

Is Lithuania justified in its fear of Russia, or is this just scaremongering?

01Former Chairman, Republican National Committee - Haley Barbour20160420

What on earth has happened to the Republican Party?

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur is in Washington DC to talk to a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Haley Barbour. With every passing week the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination becomes more bizarre and more bitter. According to one Republican senator the fact that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the two leading candidates is proof that the party has gone crazy. We ask – what on earth has happened to the Republicans?

01Former Leader, Uk Independence Party - Nigel Farage20160921

What will our future relationship with the EU look like?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence Party. For the foreseeable future British politics is going to be dominated by one issue - Brexit. What will our future relationship with the EU look like and how will it affect Britain's political and economic future?

(Photo: Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), 2015, London. Credit: Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

01Former Olympic Cycling Champion - Chris Boardman20160610

What does one of cycling's great innovators make of the sport today?

Professional cyclists are phenomenal athletes who specialise in suffering. Big races like the Tour de France push them to the very limits of human endurance. What makes them do it? In recent years, the sport has been mired by drug cheating – can it change its tarnished reputation? HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to retired Olympic champion and world record breaker Chris Boardman. What does one of cycling's great innovators make of the sport today?

01Former President, World Anti-doping Agency - Dick Pound20160425

Stephen Sackur speaks to Dick Pound, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency from 1999 to 2007 and veteran anti-doping campaigner. The world of international sport is in freefall following a long series of doping allegations. Has there been a failure in the national and international agencies that are supposed to prevent athletes using drugs? What can now be done about it and should all sporting success be treated with suspicion?

After so many doping scandals, must all sporting success be treated with suspicion?

01Hollywood Composer - Hans Zimmer20160708

With scores like The Lion King, for film directors he's the composer to work with

From his Oscar-winning score for The Lion King, through 12 Years A Slave to a series of superhero blockbusters including Batman v Superman, Hans Zimmer is, as one director put it, 'quite simply the contemporary composer to work with'. German born and British educated, he never received formal musical training and is a champion of technology. Shaun Ley asks Hans Zimmer whether the technology he so loves is killing the music makers.

Image: Hans Zimmer, Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

01Leader Of The Russian Democratic Choice Movement - Vladimir Milov20160509

Stephen Sackur talks to Vladimir Milov, founder and leader of the Democratic Choice movement. There are few more thankless tasks in world politics than being an opposition leader in Russia. Vladimir Putin's approval ratings continue to defy gravity, even in the teeth of a prolonged economic recession. Kremlin opponents are starved of media airtime, routinely harrassed and often locked up, or worse. Maybe democracy isn't a Russian priority?

Is democracy a Russian priority?

01Philosopher - Peter Singer20160613

When we talk of power we think of tangible institutions, governments, armies, big business. But how about the power of ideas? From Socrates to Marx, philosophers have challenged us to rethink the way we see the world and our place in it. Stephen Sackur talks to Peter Singer, whose writing on the relations between rich and poor, on medical ethics and animal rights have seen him variously described as the most influential and dangerous philosopher alive today. Does he believe ideas can change the world?

(Photo: Prof Peter Singer in the Hardtalk studio with Stephen Sackur)

Can ideas change the world?

01Turkish Deputy Prime Minister - Mehmet Simsek20160720

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Mehmet Simsek, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister. The attempted coup in Turkey may have been crushed but has it exposed weaknesses in the hold in power of President Erdogan? Around 15,000 personnel from the military, police, judiciary and civil service have either been arrested or relieved from duty. Is President Erdogan, the target of the coup, too polarising a figure for Turkey and becoming a liability for the ruling party?

(Photo: Mehmet Simsek speaking about his country's budget, 2014. Credit: Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

Has the attempted coup exposed weaknesses in the hold of power of President Erdogan?

01Uk Ambassador To The Un (1998-2003) - Sir Jeremy Greenstock2016071320160716 (WS)

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Sir Jeremy Greenstock, former UK Ambassador to the UN, who was deeply involved in the decision-making process leading up to the Iraq War. He served as the UK's permanent representative in Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the invasion and gave evidence to the Chilcot inquiry which looked at the invasion and its consequences. With the benefit of hindsight would he have done anything differently?

Does he have any regrets around the advice he gave leading up to the Iraq War?

01Zimbabwean Minister Of Finance - Patrick Chinamasa20160706

Zeinab Badawi talks to Patrick Chinamasa, Zimbabwean Finance Minister, long-time cabinet minister and ally of President Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe’s economy is once again staring down at the abyss. Hospitals are running out of basic supplies, more than half the population is hungry and criticisms of the veteran President Mugabe are gathering pace. How will he sort out this mess that he himself must stand accused of helping create?

(Photo: Patrick Chinamasa in the Hardtalk studio)

Can Zimbabwe escape its economic crisis?

02Film And Tv Producer - Tony Garnett20160704

How much of his inspiration came from the dark corners in his own life ?

HARDtalks’s Stephen Sackur talks to Tony Garnett, Film and TV producer about his work. Watching TV is something pretty much all of us do for news, sport and entertainment, but how much of what we stare at on the box do we actually remember ? His subjects of homelessness, illegal abortion, police corruption point to his radicalism - he uncovered dark corners of British life. How much of his motivation came from the dark corners in his own life ?