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By BBC World Service

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Hardtalk interviews newsmakers and personalities from across the globe.

Customer Reviews

Interesting but why so rude?

I enjoy most of these interviews when they are conducted with respect for the interviewee. Rather too often it appears that the interviews are being used a a vehicle for the presenters to show how "HARD" they can be. This approach is uneccessary as with precise targetted questions much can be achieved, rudeness and talking through the efforts of guests to reply detracts from the package.

Devil's in the detail

I disagree with the other reviewer (DUSTYBOY) who claims the interviewers are rude. From all the episodes I've listened to, I haven't heard that. Sackur, as with the other interviewers, inveitably checkmate the interviewee into as close a definitive answer for the audience as is ever going to be had. I find the interviewers probe enough, only to get the straight answers (rather than answering their own counter-questions).

To address some of the unfair accusations made in the other review , namely the "hard" in Hardtalk the other reviewer is alluding to, is how the interviews persist playing devil's advocate for the sake of balancing the argument. It isn't unnecessary, in fact it's inclusive of the precise questioning which he suggests.

Secondly, to negatively observe an interviewer pestering for answer is simply apart of the job. It's a twenty five minnute interview. They don't want the interviewee to be deviating from answering the question as Museveni does with his straw man argument of outlawing the "promotion" of homosexuality, as he puts it. I mean, the question was about Ugandan's predujicing homosexuals, not the promotion of it. Anyway, I'd recommend the podcasts. It''s interesting to hear the logic and reasoning we are taught is unacceptable in the West.


The Steven Sacker interviews are structured such that he asked a negative question, the interviewer rebukes it and then they move on to the next question with no counter at all. The Farage and Woodward interviews are a case in point. Farage was talking mostly nonsense but was not in anyway pressed about any of his views.
Woorward rebuked every single question and again on some points needed to be taken to task. Asked whether money had contaminated football. He was adamant completely and utterly not when clearly there is evidence to suggest it has.
Tim Sebastian did not let anyone off the hook at all, ever.
The interviews of others such as Patrick Stewart which are essentially just a normal interview are fine.