BBC World News to air Intelligence Squared debates

MUMBAI: BBC World News is set to launch Intelligence Squared, a series of topical debates, taking place in London and New York, which are set to stimulate and challenge the channel's audience across the world.

Intelligence Squared is an established debate forum founded in the UK six years ago. It attracts many speakers and includes audience participation and a vote on the outcome.

The first debate’s motion is ‘George W Bush is the worst American president of the last fifty years.’

The channel will telecast the debate from 10 January and speakers include Bush’s former deputy chief of staff Karl Rove; The Weekly Standard editor William Kristol; The Bush Tragedy author Jacob Weisberg; and British journalist Simon Jenkins.

This will be followed in February with a debate from London, with the motion ‘The United Nations is terminally paralysed: the democratic world needs a forum of its own.’ In March the motion will be ‘Major carbon reductions are not worth the money.’

The debates will be chaired by BBC World News presenter Zeinab Badawi in London and ABC News’ John Donvan in New York.

BBC World News commissioning editor Mary Wilkinson says, “We are excited about broadcasting the Intelligence Squared debates to the BBC World News audience. Combining current and provocative issues with high-profile panellists, we are confident the series will appeal to the channel’s 78 million weekly viewers around the globe.”

Intelligence Squared, which broadcasts on radio in the US, is an initiative of the Rosenkranz foundation. Chairman Robert Rosenkranz says, “The BBC World News series will engage a global television audience in the same high level discourse that radio listeners in the US have so appreciated.”

The US debates are produced by Dana Wolfe, a former producer at ABC News Nightline.

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