Synopsis

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

Episodes

  • Simon Cheng: We need to fight for democracy in Hong Kong and China

    Simon Cheng: 'We need to fight for democracy in Hong Kong and China'

    12/06/2020 Duration: 23min

    One year ago, pro-democracy street protests began in Hong Kong. At the time, Simon Cheng was an employee of the British consulate in Hong Kong. Last August, he was arrested in mainland China and, he says, interrogated and physically abused. A year on, Mr Cheng is seeking asylum in the UK, and China is about to impose a new national security law in Hong Kong. Will anything stop Beijing imposing its will on Hong Kong?

  • Mary Frances Berry: A new era in civil rights?

    Mary Frances Berry: A new era in civil rights?

    09/06/2020 Duration: 23min

    Will the waves of protest and anger that have swept through US cities since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis make a lasting difference to race relations? African Americans must surely be sceptical. Racism, discriminatory and violent policing have survived all previous efforts to make real the promises of equality and justice for all. Stephen Sackur speaks to the historian and civil rights activist Mary Frances Berry. What will it take to engineer genuine change? (Photo: Mary Frances Berry Credit: Cheriss May/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

  • James Graham: How much do we care about protecting our culture?

    James Graham: How much do we care about protecting our culture?

    08/06/2020 Duration: 23min

    The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to the performing arts. No one knows when audiences will again be able to pack into a theatre to see a show. So what happens to the writers, performers and venues that enrich our lives? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to James Graham, the prolific and hugely successful young British playwright whose work has chronicled our turbulent political times. How much do we care about protecting our culture?

  • Rutger Bregman: Are humans essentially good?

    Rutger Bregman: Are humans essentially good?

    05/06/2020 Duration: 23min

    In times of crisis we learn plenty about who we really are – and so it is that the global coronavirus pandemic is revealing truths about humankind – and how we balance self and collective interest. Stephen Sackur speaks to writer and historian Rutger Bregman whose book Humankind: A Hopeful History, is making waves around the world. Do we humans massively underestimate our capacity to change things for the better? (Photo: Rutger Bregman)

  • Mário Centeno: Can the Euro survive Covid?

    Mário Centeno: Can the Euro survive Covid?

    03/06/2020 Duration: 24min

    Europe has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic – now that most countries have controlled the spread of infection and begun to ease their lockdown, does the EU have a coherent strategy for recovery? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the Finance Minister of Portugal and Head of the Eurozone Group of Ministers, Mário Centeno. For all the talk of solidarity, has the virus exacerbated the EUs greatest weakness, economic divergence?

  • National General Secretary of Indias BJP, Ram Madhav

    National General Secretary of India's BJP, Ram Madhav

    01/06/2020 Duration: 23min

    In some countries the coronavirus pandemic appears to have enhanced national unity and solidarity, in others it’s exposed deep fault lines. In India the crisis has hit the poorest migrant workers disproportionately hard; it’s also deepened tensions between the Hindu majority and Muslim minority. Is that the fault of the Hindu nationalist BJP government? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the National General Secretary of the BJP Ram Madhav. Is Prime Minister Modi stoking communal tensions even in a national emergency? Photo: BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav Credit: Getty Images

  • Raghuram Rajan: Should economies pile up debt to cope with Covid-19?

    Raghuram Rajan: Should economies pile up debt to cope with Covid-19?

    29/05/2020 Duration: 24min

    The Covid-19 pandemic has plunged the world economy into a deep recession. How long will it last and what kind of recovery can we expect? That in part depends on what governments do now. Should they be piling up future debt to cope with today’s crisis? Stephen Sackur speaks to the former Governor of India’s Reserve Bank and IMF chief economist Raghuram Rajan. Do the old rules of fiscal discipline no longer apply? (Photo: Raghuram Rajan, IMF chief economist)

  • Rocco Forte: Can hotels recover?

    Rocco Forte: Can hotels recover?

    27/05/2020 Duration: 24min

    No sector of the global economy has been harder hit by Covid-19 than the travel and hospitality industry. Millions of workers dependent on travel and tourism have been laid off around the world. Stephen Sackur speaks to Sir Rocco Forte, boss of a string of luxury hotels and a powerful voice in an industry chafing under strict lockdown rules. What future is there for an industry that depends on mobility and confidence?

  • French Minister for Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire: EU faces gravest crisis

    French Minister for Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire: EU faces 'gravest crisis'

    22/05/2020 Duration: 23min

    When faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union struggled to respond with collective action. The countries first and worst affected, Italy and Spain, complained of a lack of solidarity. Is that changing? The leaders of France and Germany are backing a plan to inject at least 500 billion euros into an economic recovery programme. Stephen Sackur speaks to French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. Is the pandemic taking the EU in a new direction?

  • Anders Tegnell: Is Sweden the best model for coronavirus response?

    Anders Tegnell: Is Sweden the best model for coronavirus response?

    18/05/2020 Duration: 23min

    Much of the world responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with a lockdown strategy. Now there's much focus on finding a sustainable post-lockdown strategy that doesn’t prompt a second wave of infection. Could Sweden be the model? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, the architect of a controversial no-lockdown strategy that continues to stir interest across the world. Has it worked?

  • David Miliband: President, International Rescue Committee

    David Miliband: President, International Rescue Committee

    15/05/2020 Duration: 23min

    It may be a global pandemic but Covid-19 has hardly united the world around a collective response. We have seen world leaders focus on national self-interest rather than international collaboration. That could spell disaster for those countries least able to cope with a protracted public health crisis. Stephen Sackur speaks to David Miliband, president of the international charity the International Rescue Committee and a former UK Foreign Secretary. What kind of world will emerge from this pandemic? (Photo: David Miliband)

  • Luiz Henrique Mandetta: Brazils sacked Health Minister speaks out

    Luiz Henrique Mandetta: Brazil's sacked Health Minister speaks out

    11/05/2020 Duration: 24min

    While some countries are claiming success in their effort to curb Covid-19, Brazil is increasingly looking like an outlier. The rate of new infections is still increasing, the death toll is mounting, and all the while President Jair Bolsonaro focuses on easing social distancing and reopening the Brazilian economy. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Brazil’s former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta who was fired by Mr Bolsonaro after a series of disagreements. Is President Bolsonaro putting his nation at risk?

  • US Democrat Senate Candidate Jaime Harrison: Joe Biden bringing calm to the storm were in

    US Democrat Senate Candidate Jaime Harrison: Joe Biden 'bringing calm to the storm we're in'

    08/05/2020 Duration: 23min

    The Covid-19 death toll in the US has gone beyond 70,000 and scientists now expect it to go far beyond 100,000 within the next month. At the same time President Trump is doubling down on his calls for American states to relax the lockdown and get back to work. In this presidential election year dealing with the pandemic is now the dominant political issue. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to senior Democratic party official and candidate for the US Senate Jaime Harrison. Has Covid-19 changed America’s political landscape? (Photo: Jaime Harrison, senior Democratic Party official and candidate for the US Senate)

  • Dutch MEP Sophie int Veld: Decline of the EU is possible but its in our own hands

    Dutch MEP Sophie in't Veld: 'Decline of the EU is possible but it's in our own hands'

    04/05/2020 Duration: 23min

    The coronavirus pandemic has presented Europe with a massive challenge – and so far the EU’s response has been found wanting in several key respects. As the death toll has mounted and the economic damage worsened, European solidarity and coordinated action has been questioned by member states like Italy and Spain. Stephen Sackur speaks to the influential Dutch MEP Sophie in 't Veld. Has Covid-19 exposed the weakness at the heart of the European project? (Photo: Sophie in 't Veld, Dutch MEP)

  • Liu Xiaoming: Is China a victim of Covid-19 or the source of the problem?

    Liu Xiaoming: Is China a victim of Covid-19 or the source of the problem?

    01/05/2020 Duration: 24min

    As the global effort to control Covid-19 continues so arguments about culpability for the spread of the pandemic intensify. At the centre of the story is China, where the outbreak began. Did the Chinese government’s impulse to cover up the truth cost the world dear? Or did China respond with admirable determination? Stephen Sackur speaks to the veteran Chinese Ambassador in London Liu Xiaoming. Is China the villain or the hero of this pandemic? (Photo: Chinese Ambassador in London Liu Xiaoming. on the Andrew Marr show, 9 February, 2020. Credit: Reuters)

  • Jens Stoltenberg: Has Nato risen to the challenge of Covid-19?

    Jens Stoltenberg: Has Nato risen to the challenge of Covid-19?

    29/04/2020 Duration: 23min

    The coronavirus pandemic is a multi-layered global crisis. It starts with public health, but it reaches deep into the world economy and the global security system too. Could Covid-19 fears be used for malign purposes? Will it enhance or undermine multi-lateral institutions? Stephen Sackur speaks to Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of Nato. Has his organisation risen to this massive challenge? (Photo: Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of Nato)

  • Yuval Noah Harari: Covid-19 - a new regime of surveillance?

    Yuval Noah Harari: Covid-19 - a new regime of surveillance?

    27/04/2020 Duration: 23min

    The coronavirus pandemic has presented humanity with an almighty shock. Here we are, with our evermore interconnected, technologically-advanced societies, living in lockdown and fearful for our health and economic futures - thanks to an invisible virus. Stephen Sackur interviews Israeli historian and best-selling author Yuval Noah Harari. What 21st century lesson can we draw from the spread of COVID-19?

  • Brian Cox: From poverty to Succession

    Brian Cox: From poverty to Succession

    26/04/2020 Duration: 23min

    Brian Cox, star of the global hit HBO drama Succession, is currently in New York, the US city worst affected by the virus. His long career has taken in everything from King Lear to the ruthless, media mogul Logan Roy in the HBO drama Succession. He defied childhood poverty and tragedy to make it; where does his fierce passion for acting come from?

  • David Nabarro: Is the WHO failing its greatest test?

    David Nabarro: Is the WHO failing its greatest test?

    24/04/2020 Duration: 24min

    With nation states across the world struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic, there’s an urgent need for an internationally coordinated response. That’s where the UN agency the World Health Organisation should have a vital role to play; but right now, the WHO is at the centre of a political storm. Donald Trump has withdrawn US funding, accusing the agency of being China-centric. Stephen Sackur speaks to David Nabarro, the WHO special envoy for Covid-19. Is the organisation failing its greatest test?

  • Zoltan Kovacs: Is the EU facing its first de facto dictatorship?

    Zoltan Kovacs: Is the EU facing its first de facto dictatorship?

    24/04/2020 Duration: 22min

    The coronavirus pandemic has prompted governments around the world to take emergency measures. Liberties have been restricted in the name of safeguarding public health, but no European nation has gone further than Hungary in the embrace of authoritarianism. In Hungary, democracy has in effect been suspended indefinitely. Stephen Sackur interviews the country’s State Secretary for International Communication, Zoltan Kovacs. Has Covid-19 ushered in the EU’s first de facto dictatorship? (Photo: Zoltan Kovacs via video link)

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