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Presented byCurrent:
Stephen Sackur
Zeinab Badawi
Sarah Montague
Tim Sebastian
Theme music composerDavid Lowe
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Production locationsStudio TC7, Television Centre (1997–2012)

Studios A and C on rotation, Broadcasting House (2012–)
EditorCarey Clark
Running time25 minutes
Original network
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release31 March 1997 (1997-03-31) –
Related shows
  • Hardtalk Extra
  • Hardtalk Extra Time

HARDtalk is a BBC television and radio programme broadcast on the BBC News Channel, on BBC World News, and on the BBC World Service.

Broadcast times and days vary, depending on broadcasting platform and geographic location.[1][2][3] HARDtalk is also available on BBC iPlayer[4] and as a podcast via BBC Sounds.[5]


HARDtalk provides "in-depth interviews with hard-hitting questions and sensitive topics being covered as famous personalities from all walks of life talk about the highs and lows in their lives."[6]

Presenters and interviewees[edit]


HARDtalk is predominantly presented by interviewer Stephen Sackur. Other presenters, include Zeinab Badawi and Sarah Montague.

Tim Sebastian was the original presenter when the programme launched in March 1997.[7][8]

Selected interviewees[edit]

HARDtalk has interviewed many public figures of historical significance, including:


HARDtalk Extra[edit]

HARDtalk Extra—a series of "interviews with people from the arts and culture," predominantly presented by Gavin Esler.

Interviewees include: Brenda Blethyn, Robin Gibb, Debbie Harry, Marie Helvin, Grayson Perry, Ian Rankin, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Patrick Swayze.[31][32]

HARDtalk Extra Time[edit]

HARDtalk Extra Time—a spin-off of "in-depth interviews with the stars, coaches, and power brokers in the world of sport."

Among those interviewed by Rob Bonnet, include: Nicola Adams, Roger Bannister, Jonah Lomu, David Rudisha, and Murray Walker.[33][34]


  1. ^ "HARDtalk on the BBC News Channel". BBC.
  2. ^ "HARDtalk on BBC World News". BBC.
  3. ^ "HARDtalk on BBC World Service". BBC.
  4. ^ "HARDtalk available on BBC iPlayer". BBC.
  5. ^ "HARDtalk program website via the BBC World Service". BBC.
  6. ^ "HARDtalk format". BBC.
  7. ^ "Meet Stephen Sackur – the world famous interviewer who's tougher than Paxman".
  8. ^ "Two Decades of HARDtalking - BBC'S flagship interview programme celebrates 20th anniversary".
  9. ^ "Maya Angelou interview on HARDtalk".
  10. ^ "Kofi Annan talks to Zeinab Badawi". BBC.
  11. ^ "Benazir Bhutto speaks with HARDtalk". BBC.
  12. ^ "Hugo Chávez grants rare interview to western media". The Guardian. 13 June 2010.
  13. ^ "Noam Chomsky speaks to Stephen Sackur". BBC.
  14. ^ "Michael Collins signs up for HARDtalk interview". BBC.
  15. ^ "F. W. de Klerk speaks with HARDtalk". BBC.
  16. ^ "Recep Tayyip Erdoğan talks to Zeinab Badawi". BBC.
  17. ^ "William Frankland signs up for HARDtalk interview". BBC.
  18. ^ "Mikhail Gorbachev gives HARDtalk interview". BBC.
  19. ^ "Bernice King interviewed for HARDtalk". BBC.
  20. ^ "Nelson Mandela speaks with HARDtalk". BBC.
  21. ^ "Mira Marković interviewed for HARDtalk". BBC.
  22. ^ "Robert Mugabe interviewed for HARDtalk". BBC.
  23. ^ "Nadia Murad speaks to Sarah Montague". BBC.
  24. ^ "Olusegun Obasanjo signs up for HARDtalk". BBC.
  25. ^ "Teodoro Obiang gives HARDtalk interview". BBC.
  26. ^ "Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to Zeinab Badawi". BBC.
  27. ^ "Thein Sein gives HARDtalk interview". BBC.
  28. ^ "Nina Simone gives HARDtalk interview". BBC.
  29. ^ "Hugh Thompson Jr talks with HARDtalk". BBC.
  30. ^ "Desmond Tutu talks with HARDtalk". BBC.
  31. ^ "About HARDtalk Extra". BBC.
  32. ^ "HARDtalk Extra episodes". BBC.
  33. ^ "About HARDtalk Extra Time". BBC.
  34. ^ "HARDtalk Extra Time episodes". BBC.

External links[edit]