Tim Sebastian to host Indian debate series for BloombergUTV

NEW DELHI: The renowned Tim Sebastian, who was the founder and host of the world famous The Doha Debates and the first host of BBC’s flagship international interview programme Hardtalk, is to host the mega debate series ‘The Outsider’ on BloombergUTV.

Scheduled to go on air in mid-August, the programme is being produced by Sobo Films and will feature debates on some of the major social, political and economic issues faced by India including subjects like Education, Kashmir, relationship between Business and Corruption, Dynastic Politics, to name a few.

Sebastian, host and anchor of the series, said at a press meet here that “the role of ‘The Outsider’ is to try and do things differently. Yes, we want to join the incredibly vibrant debate that is India today - but we want to do it in a way that tries to unpick key problems and address key questions that often go unanswered. My job is to make sure these debates contain both the heat of your passion and the light to illuminate extraordinary things to a curious world. India matters more than ever. There’s no escaping that.”

Previously a BBC foreign correspondent based in Warsaw, Moscow and Washington, Sebastian has over 30 years of reporting from more than 25 countries. He is globally recognised as a sharp, incisive and unbiased cross-examiner and enjoys a track record for fearless and forensic questioning of some of the most powerful people on the planet.

BloombergUTV president Sriram Kilambi said, “We are very excited about having Tim Sebastian hosting ‘The Outsider’, a unique and hard-hitting debate series about India - conducted in India. ‘The Outsider’ is the first ever television show about India to be showcased on a global platform and we are proud to be the channel to carry it. We expect the entire nation and Indians living across the globe to sit-up, watch and participate in the series which will send a strong signal to the Bureaucracy andCorporate India about issues that need to be tackled to ensure that the country stays on-course with its growth map.”

Each debate will have speakers arguing ‘for’ and ‘against’ the motion. Speakers will include politicians, business people and activists. The debate will be conducted in the presence of a live audience of around 200 people representing a mix of India’s best future minds and people from all walks of life. The audience, at the end of each debate, will vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ the motion.

The motion will then be thrown open in the viral world for people from all across the globe to post their vote to determine the majority sentiment for the motion.

Sobo Films Director Vikas Gulati said, “With a combination of Tim Sebastian, one of the leaders in his field, great topics, a young audience and international viewers, we are looking forward to the start of this series. We are proud to be able to give the youth of this country an opportunity to share their views with a global audience. This programme will allow an international audience to hear what the future leaders of this country have to say.”

The series will be broadcast by BloombergUTV in India and by Bloomberg TV across Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East, thereby reaching out to over 300 million viewers globally making it the first and only show about India to be produced in India and telecast across the globe. A strong social media campaign has also been put into place to gather opinions and votes from across the world to be incorporated into the show.

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