Stephen Sackur, HARDtalk's presenter, has been a journalist with BBC News since 1986.
Before taking over on the BBC News 24 and BBC World flagship current affairs interview programme, he had been based in Brussels for three years as the BBC's Europe Correspondent.
In 1990 he was appointed the BBC's foreign affairs correspondent. He was part of the BBC's team of correspondents covering the Gulf War and spent eight weeks with the British army when the conflict began.
He was the first correspondent to break the story of the mass killing on the Basra road out of Kuwait City, marking the end of the war. He wrote a book about his experiences - On The Basra Road - named as one of the Books of the Year by The Spectator magazine.
Whilst working as a correspondent for BBC Radio, he was a witness to the last days of communism, reporting on the Velvet Revolution of Czechoslovakia and the re-unification of Germany.
In 1992 Stephen became the BBC's Middle East correspondent based in Cairo and moved to Jerusalem 1995. During this time he reported on the death of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the emergence of the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat.
Whilst preparing for a documentary on Islamic fundamentalism, Stephen lived with Hezbollah guerrillas in South Lebanon for two weeks.
In 1997 to 2002, Stephen was appointed as the BBC's Washington correspondent. During this time he covered the scandal surrounding former US President Bill Clinton and his subsequent impeachment trial, the 2000 US presidential elections and has interviewed US President George W Bush.
In 2003, Stephen returned to Iraq just after the fall of Saddam Hussein and filed the first television pictures on Iraq's mass graves containing the bodies of thousands of victims of Saddam's regime.
He was born in Spilsby, Lincolnshire and studied at Cambridge University and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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