Karan Thapar

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Karan Thapar
Karan Thapar speaking at The Doon School, India.JPG
Thapar chairing a debate at The Doon School on its 75th Founder's Day in 2010.
Born (1955-11-05) 5 November 1955 (age 65)
Alma materPembroke College, Cambridge (BA)
St Antony's College, Oxford (PhD)
OccupationJournalist, News presenter
EmployerThe Wire
Notable credit(s)
Devil's Advocate
India Tonight
The Last Word
Face to Face (BBC)
Hardtalk India (BBC)
To the Point
Spouse(s)Nisha Thapar (deceased)
RelativesDaya Ram Thapar (uncle)
Romesh Thapar (cousin)
Romila Thapar (cousin)

Karan Thapar (born 5 November 1955) is an Indian journalist, news presenter and interviewer working with The Wire. Thapar was associated with CNN-IBN and hosted The Devil's Advocate and The Last Word. He was also associated with India Today, hosted the shows To the Point and Nothing But The Truth and is doing an exclusive series of Interviews with The Wire on his show Access Journalism.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Karan Thapar is the youngest child of former Chief of the Army Staff General Pran Nath Thapar and Bimla Thapar. The journalist Romesh Thapar and the historian Romila Thapar are his cousins.[3]

Thapar is also related distantly to the family of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru's niece, the writer Nayantara Sahgal, was married to Gautam Sahgal, brother of Bimla Thapar, his mother.[4]

He is an alumnus of The Doon School in Dehradun and the Stowe School in England. While at Doon, Thapar was the editor-in-chief of the school magazine The Doon School Weekly.[5] He graduated with a degree in Economics and Political Philosophy from Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1977. In the same year, he was also President of the Cambridge Union. He subsequently obtained a doctorate in International Relations from St Antony's College, Oxford.


He began his career in journalism with The Times in Lagos, Nigeria and later worked as their Lead Writer on the Indian subcontinent till 1981. In 1982 he joined London Weekend Television in the United Kingdom where he worked for the next 11 years.[6] He moved to India in 1991 and worked with The Hindustan Times Television Group, Home TV and United Television before setting up his own production house in August 2001, Infotainment Television, which makes programmes for amongst others BBC, Doordarshan and Channel News Asia.[7] He is currently the President of Infotainment Television.

Thapar is noted for his aggressive interviews with leading politicians and celebrities.[8] A few of his shows which have been much watched are Eyewitness, Tonight at 10, In Focus with Karan, Line of Fire, War of Words Devil's Advocate and The Last Word.[7] In 2007, Thapar famously interviewed current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (then the Chief Minister of Gujarat) and Modi stopped the interview just three minutes in, refusing to continue.[9]

In April 2014, Thapar quit CNN-IBN to join India Today, where he hosted the show titled To the Point and Nothing But The Truth.

He also writes for The Indian Express, a leading Indian daily, as a columnist.

Awards and accolades[edit]

  • In 1995 Thapar won the Onida Pinnacle Award for Best Current Affairs Presenter for the programme, The Chat Show.[7]
  • In December 2003, Thapar became the first person to win both awards in the current affairs category of the Asian Television Awards.[citation needed]
  • The Best Current Affairs Program for an interview with Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Khurshid Kasuri tilted Court Martial
  • Second award for 'The Best Current Affairs Presenter' for his popular long-running BBC series Face to Face.
  • 'Best Current Affairs Presenter' award for his interview with Ram Jethmalani on Devil's Advocate[citation needed]
  • In 2008 his show Devil's Advocate was conferred 'Best News/Current Affairs Show' by News Television Awards & Karan Thapar was presented the award for 'News Interviewer of the Year' at Indian News Broadcasting Awards.
  • In April 2009, Thapar was conferred with the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award and was chosen the 'Journalist of the Year(Broadcast)'.
  • In August 2009 he was adjudged the "News Show Host of the Year" by Indian News Broadcasting Awards.
  • In March 2010 Devil's Advocate was accorded an award for being the "Best News Talk Show" by News Television Awards.
  • In December 2010 he was adjudged the 'Best Current Affairs Presenter' by Asian Television Awards.
  • In March 2011 Devil's Advocate was adjudged the "Best Current Affairs Programme" and Karan Thapar was declared the "TV News Anchor of the Year-English" by National Television Awards.In October 2013, Karan Thapar won journalism award.
  • In December 2013, Karan Thapar received the International Press Institute-India Award for excellence in the field of journalism.[10]


  • Face To Face India - Conversations With Karan Thapar, Penguin, ISBN 0-14-303344-1
  • Sunday Sentiments, Wisdom Tree, ISBN 81-8328-023-4
  • More Salt Than Pepper - Dropping Anchor With Karan Thapar, Harper Collins, ISBN 978-81-7223-776-9
  • Devil's Advocate: The Untold Story, Harper Collins, ISBN 978-93-5277-985-7
  • As I Like It, Wisdom Tree, ISBN 8-183-28466-3
  • Hardtalk India


  1. ^ "Karan Thapar". The Wire. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  2. ^ The two faces of Mr. Modi
  3. ^ "When the Devil's Advocate has the Last Word". Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  4. ^ Singh, Nandita (2 January 2019). "Why is Karan Thapar complaining? His dynasty holds a key to Lutyens' Delhi". The Print. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  5. ^ History of the Weekly, The Doon School publications (2009) p.41
  6. ^ "Madhu Trehan interviews Karan Thapar on his book "Devil's advocate"". News laundry. 30 July 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Karan Thapar - Infotainment Television". Infotainment Television. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  8. ^ Leekha, Parul (13 March 2018). "Role reversal - At the launch of his latest book, Karan Thapar faced a volley of questions from Shashi Tharoor". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  9. ^ Thapar, Karan (22 July 2018). "Why Modi Walked Out in 2007 and the BJP Now Shuns Me". The Wire. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Karan Thapar wins journalism award". The Hindu. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2014.

External links[edit]