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Stephen John Sackur
Stephen Sackur 02.JPG
Stephen Sackur at Stockholm Internet Forum 2014
Born (1964-01-09) 9 January 1964 (age 50)
Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England
Education Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, Harvard University
Occupation Journalist
Notable credit(s) BBC, foreign affairs correspondent
HARDtalk, host

Stephen John Sackur (born 9 January 1964) is an English journalist who presents HARDtalk, a current affairs interview programme on BBC World News and the BBC News Channel. He is also the main Friday presenter of GMT on BBC World News. For fifteen years he was a BBC foreign correspondent and he is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4 and a number of newspapers and magazines.


Stephen Sackur was born in Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England, and studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.[1] He is married to an Iraqi,[2] Zina Sabbagh, and has three children.[3]


Sackur began working at the BBC as a trainee in 1986, and in 1990, he was appointed as one of its foreign affairs correspondents.[1][3] As a BBC Radio correspondent, Stephen reported on the Velvet Revolution of Czechoslovakia in 1989 and the reunification of Germany in 1990.[1] During the Gulf War, he was part of a BBC team covering the conflict and spent eight weeks with the British Army.[4] At the end of the war, he was the first correspondent to report the massacre of the retreating Iraqi army on the road leading out of Kuwait.[1]

Stephen was based in Cairo, Egypt, between 1992 and 1995 as the BBC's correspondent in the Middle East and he later moved to Jerusalem in 1995 until 1997.[3] He covered both the death of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the growth of the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat.[1]

Between 1997 and 2002, he was appointed the BBC's correspondent in Washington and covered the Lewinsky scandal. He later covered the U.S. Presidential Election in 2000 and interviewed President George W. Bush.[1] Stephen went back to Iraq in 2003 after the fall of Saddam Hussein and was the first to report Iraq's mass graves of victims of the regime.[1] He was also the moderator of BBC's worldwide broadcast of a debate on climate change with a panel of five world leaders from South Africa, the Maldives, Sweden, Australia and Mexico.

In 1991 he wrote On the Basra Road (London Review of Books).


In 2004 Stephen Sackur replaced veteran journalist Tim Sebastian as the regular host of the BBC's news programme HARDtalk. He has since interviewed prominent international personalities including former the late President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, People's Republic of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, President Felipe Calderón of Mexico, President Shimon Peres of Israel, Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of the PA, President Jalal Talabani of Iraq, Greek former minister of Health Adonis Georgiadis, Prime Mininister of Moldova Iurie Leanca US vice-president Al Gore, former US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates and a host of other leaders and politicians from around the world. He has also interviewed leading cultural figures including Gore Vidal, Richard Dawkins, Noam Chomsky, Anwar Ibrahim, Annie Lennox, Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Stephen Sackur was named 'International TV Personality of the Year' by the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) in November 2010.[5]

He was nominated as 'Speech Broadcaster of the Year' at the Sony Radio Awards 2013.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "NewsWatch: Stephen Sackur - HARDtalk". BBC News. 27 June 2006. 
  2. ^ Ian Henshall (5 December 2005). "BBC's Stephen Sackur Backs CIA Torture". Press Action. 
  3. ^ a b c "BBC - Press Office - Stephen Sackur". August 2008. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "HARDtalk - About Stephen Sackur". BBC News. 30 September 2009. 
  5. ^ "Stephen Sackur". Performing Artistes. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Sackur — Please support Wikipedia.
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36 news items

BBC News

BBC News
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 09:10:42 -0700

How serious is the Australian government about reducing its greenhouse gas emissions? And what are the best ways to measure how polluting a country really is? Stephen Sackur challenges Australian Treasury Minister Joe Hockey about his government's ...

Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald
Mon, 13 Oct 2014 19:00:15 -0700

He told BBC host Stephen Sackur that Europeans had a "fundamental misunderstanding" of Australia's economic ties with Asia, particularly China, and the view that Australia had a "massive reliance and dependence" on China for exports was a "complete ...

BBC News

BBC News
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:10:09 -0700

Mr Picco, who risked his life to negotiate the release of western hostages in Lebanon, told BBC HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur that he does not have the "qualifications" to deal with Islamic State, also known as IS and ISIS. The group currently controls ...

BBC News

BBC News
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 16:26:15 -0700

With Hong Kong police now using strong-arm tactics on protesters, Stephen Sackur asks successful Hong Kong businessman Sir David Tang about the extent of Beijing's influence. The Hong Kong authorities seem to be running out of patience with the ...

BBC News

BBC News
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 19:48:45 -0700

Interviews with newsmakers and personalities from across the globe. Stephen Sackur speaks to General Lord Richards, who recently retired as Britain's top military chief. The US-led military operation against the Islamic State organisation has raised a ...

Brisbane Times

Brisbane Times
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 23:07:12 -0700

He said this on the BBC's Hardline the other night, during a grilling by host Stephen Sackur. But the thing about this absolutely ridiculous claim is that it's true. Like, entirely true. In January the OECD pointed out that of all the planet's most ...

The New Daily

The New Daily
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 04:22:42 -0700

Prompted by our PM's positioning of coal as a vital part of the world's future energy mix, BBC host Stephen Sackur put to Hockey that Australia is one of the dirtiest greenhouse gas emitting countries in the OECD. Rather than sidestepping a fairly ...

YLE News

YLE News
Thu, 09 Oct 2014 05:00:00 -0700

Hard Talk interviewer Stephen Sackur said: “Your message sounds great when you're coming to London and slapping David Cameron on the back. But to many Finns seeing their wages decline, they don't buy your optimistic message.” Stubb replied: “I ...

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