Stephen Sackur

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HARDtalk

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Synopsis

Before chairing the BBC's global set-piece interview show, Stephen reported from Brussels, the Middle East and Washington covering conflicts, political intigues and history-making events.

Biography

Stephen Sackur is presenter of HARDtalk, the current affairs interview on BBC World and the News Channel. His subjects have included heads of state, cultural luminaries, scientists and business leaders from around the world.

For HARDtalk Stephen has also interviewed a number of the world’s great innovators, from James Dyson to Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia and the bioscientist Craig Ventor. Distilling his notes for a series of articles, Stephen identified the five qualities they all seemed to share: an indestructible will, passion (almost beyond reason), outrageous optimism, a super-sized ego and a ‘rebel yell.’

These interviews have also given him an insight into how organisations can best bring about innovation:
“You need to find ways to assess individuals on their merits, and give rewards for innovative thinking rather than play-it-safe mediocrity. You should encourage insiders to get outside and bring back fresh insights. And you shouldn’t confuse seniority with creativity.”

Away from set-piece interviews Stephen has served in Brussels, reporting on day-to-day stories from the major European institutions and across the continent. Before that he was Washington Correspondent, where his coverage and analysis of 9/11 won widespread acclaim. Prior to his US posting he reported from the Middle East and eastern Europe. In an eventful career he's covered the first Gulf War, the assasination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Lewinsky affair, and the reunification of Germany.

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Agent Recommendation

I really enjoy working with Stephen. Though he's a hard-hitting journalist who interviews world leaders on a regular basis, he's incredibly affable and clearly ‘gets’ corporate events. It’s a given that he quickly gets on top of a tricky brief – what’s more unusual is that everything’s always so easy to arrange. JLA Agent Allan Grant

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