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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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722 news items

BBC News
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 23:33:45 -0700

Interviews with newsmakers and personalities from across the globe. Stephen Sackur talks to Francis Rossi, guitarist, singer and founder of the band Status Quo. Stephen Sackur talks to Francis Rossi, guitarist, singer and founder of the band Status Quo ...

BBC News

BBC News
Sun, 09 Nov 2014 09:37:30 -0800

HARDtalk - Mikhail Gorbachev - President of the Soviet Union 1990-1991. Stephen Sackur speaks to Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union. 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, how does he see east-west relations today? HARDtalk is ...

BBC News

BBC News
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 08:52:30 -0800

Stephen Sackur talks to a man with a remarkable story which has earned him accolades and admiration around the world. Sir Nicholas Winton is now 105 years old. When he was just 29 he helped rescue more than 600 mostly Jewish children from Nazi ...

BBC News

BBC News
Tue, 18 Nov 2014 22:22:30 -0800

Mikhail Kasyanov was the prime minister of Russia in Putin's first term and is now a diehard opponent of the president. Stephen Sackur gets his insight into Russian politics. Just how far is Vladimir Putin prepared to push in his high stakes ...

BBC News

BBC News
Sun, 26 Oct 2014 23:33:45 -0700

HARDtalk - Mitchell Baker - Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla. Stephen Sackur speaks to Mitchell Baker, a Silicon Valley pioneer and boss of the not-for-profit Mozilla Corporation, best known for the Firefox web browser. Many of us who use the internet for ...


Mon, 03 Nov 2014 09:03:45 -0800

Stephen Sackur, host of the BBC's HARDTalk, agreed there was a "huge difficulty in getting to the truth" but said there was no room for journalists to take sides. "From time to time journalists are forced into positions where they cannot do what I ...

BBC News

BBC News
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 05:36:17 -0700

She told Stephen Sackur: "If you want what we have had … where you or your child or someone anywhere in the world can have an idea and make a product and reach everyone and let the consumers determine if that product is good then you need to have ...
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:07:05 -0700

The second half of the awards' night was chaired by Christiane Amanpour CBE, host of the eponymous CNN 7:00 pm current affairs programme with panellists Stephen Sackur, host of the BBC's HARDTalk, Lindsey Hilsum, international editor at Channel 4 ...

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