Tim Sebastian

Biografie şi Bibliografie

Tim Sebastian (born 13 March 1952, London, England) is a television journalist. He is the Chairman of the Doha Debates, a forum for free speech in Qatar, and was the presenter of BBC's HARDtalk. He won the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Richard Dimbleby award in 1982 and Britain's prestigious Royal Television Society Interviewer of the Year award in 2001 for the second time in a row.Contents [hide]


Sebastian was educated at Westminster School, a fee-paying Independent school in Central London. He holds a BA Honours degree in Modern Languages from Oxford University, and speaks both German and Russian. He has a Diploma in Journalism Studies from Cardiff University, graduating in 1974.


Sebastian's career as a journalist began at Reuters in 1974. Tim worked for the BBC for 25 years, starting as the BBC's foreign correspondent in Warsaw in 1979. He became BBC's Europe correspondent in 1982, for Moscow in 1984 (he was expelled from the USSR) and then for Washington from 1986 to 1989.

Sebastian has worked for the Mail on Sunday, and has contributed to the Sunday Times.

He has also written eight novels and two non-fiction books.


Sebastian was stated by his BBC employer to be a rigorous and skilful interviewer, and the seven years that he spent at HardTalk were described by the BBC accordingly.

Debate Moderator

Currently, Sebastian is the Chairman of "The Doha Debates", a Qatar Foundation programme that is broadcast monthly on BBC World News where it is the highest rated weekend programme. The Debates were founded by Sebastian in 2004 and their fifth series begins in September 2008.

The Doha Debates are the premier, standup forum in the Arab and Islamic worlds – where audiences can argue freely without fear of censorship or repercussions – and leading figures are held to account for their policies and actions. While governments around the world tighten restrictions on press freedom, the Doha Debates openly dissect the vital issues of the Middle East in front of its people and on global TV. For the first time in their life, many young Arabs are having their say on key political questions – challenging politicians and experts face to face. Televised eight times a year by BBC World News, the debates are based on a centuries-old format, refined by the famous Oxford Union. They focus on a single, controversial motion, with two speakers for and against. Once they have outlined their arguments, each speaker is questioned by the chairman and the discussion is then opened up to the audience for argument and a final electronic vote.

Sebastian is a frequent moderator of major conferences, seminars and forums across the globe.


Sebastian is the author of eight novels and two non-fiction books. They include: Ultra (1998) War Dance (1996) Last Rights (1995) The Memory Church (1994) Saviour's Gate (1991) Spy Shadow (1990) The Spy in Question (1989) Nice Promises: Tim Sebastian in Poland (1985)

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