Tim Sebastian is the chairman of The New Arab Debates, currently broadcast and distributed worldwide on Deutsche Welle TV. The award-winning former BBC foreign correspondent was the first presenter of HARDtalk, BBC World’s daily half-hour interview programme, where he worked for more than seven years.
Tim was the founder and chairman of The Doha Debates, which were broadcast across the globe on BBC World News from 2004 until 2012. The programmes, recorded in Qatar, provided a unique, uncensored forum for discussing the most controversial issues in the Arab and Islamic worlds.
In 2012 he presented the Outsider Debates, recorded in India and screened on Bloomberg TV.
In 1982, Tim was the winner of the Richard Dimbleby Award at BAFTA and was also named Television Journalist of the Year by the Royal Television Society. For two years running, in 2000 and 2001, he received the Royal Television Society’s Interviewer of the Year Award.
His began his career as a foreign correspondent in Warsaw, covering the Solidarity revolution, before becoming the BBC’s Europe Correspondent in 1982 and Moscow Correspondent in 1984. A year later he was expelled by the Soviet authorities and sent to Washington until 1989.
Born in London in 1952, Tim speaks Russian and German fluently and also holds a BA Honours degree in modern languages from Oxford University. A best-selling author, he has written eight novels and two non-fiction books.