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Stephen Sackur
Stephen Sackur 02.JPG
Stephen Sackur at Stockholm Internet Forum 2014
Born Stephen John Sackur
(1964-01-09) 9 January 1964 (age 51)
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 President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, 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, and 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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702 news items

Huffington Post

Huffington Post
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 12:07:30 -0700

My guest today, Stephen Sackur, is a journalist I really respect and admire. With close to 3 decades of media experience behind him, Stephen is currently the host of BBC's flagship television and radio programme, HARDtalk, which puts global leaders and ...

BBC News

BBC News
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 04:25:19 -0800

Stephen Sackur talks to the Catholic Church's most senior cleric in the Philippines, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and asks, is the Catholic Church helping or hindering the development of the nation? (Photo: Philippines' Luis Antonio Tagle greets ...

BBC News

BBC News
Sun, 08 Mar 2015 17:46:00 -0700

The Philippines has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia - but there aren't enough jobs to go around. So every year the government teaches thousands of people the skills they need to get jobs abroad. When I arrive at the state-run Housemaids ...

BBC News

BBC News
Wed, 18 Mar 2015 03:29:19 -0700

Stephen Sackur speaks to Nick Hanauer, the American dotcom billionaire businessman. He believes that the rich in America should pay more taxes and has warned of revolution if wealth inequality is not addressed. Is American capitalism in danger of ...

BBC News

BBC News
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 02:40:54 -0800

Stephen Sackur speaks to Aimen Dean, an Al Qaeda member in the late 1990s. After the US embassy bombings in Africa in 1998, he worked as an informant for the UK security services. HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to Aimen Dean, a trusted member ...

Recharge (press release) (subscription)

Recharge (press release) (subscription)
Wed, 11 Mar 2015 05:33:45 -0700

Asked by presenter Stephen Sackur whether the industry “is disunited”, Hannibal said the European offshore regulatory regime “is not as harmonised as it should be right now”. One of the most difficult areas is the difference in regulatory regimes ...

BBC News

BBC News
Sat, 07 Mar 2015 16:56:15 -0800

HARDtalk - Neil Woodford - Fund Manager. Stephen Sackur talks to Neil Woodford, Britain's most successful investor of recent years. Is this a time for economic confidence or caution? Stock markets in New York and London are sitting close to record highs.

BBC News

BBC News
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 22:28:26 -0800

Stephen Sackur in Manila visits an academy that trains women to become house maids abroad, thus joining the 10 million Filipinos working overseas. Exporting labour helps with unemployment figures and foreign currency, but at a high cost to the women, ...

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