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BBC World’s HARDtalk India presenter Karan Thapar wins an Asian Television Award


Karan Thapar, the presenter of BBC World’s hard-hitting interview programme HARDtalk India, was named the Best Current Affairs Presenter for the year at the Asian Television Awards in Singapore last night (1st December). Karan takes the coveted trophy for a record third time, having won in 1999 and again in 2003.

Karan won the award this year for an edition of HARDtalk India with the former Law Minister and BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley, which was broadcast on BBC World in April this year. He won the accolade ahead of other nominees from current affairs programming running on international channels across Asia including NewsAsia, MediaCorp News, Singapore; CNN International, Hong Kong; Eastern Broadcasting, ETTV-S Channel, Taiwan; and PT Media Televisi Indonesia, Channel 57, Indonesia.

An elated Karan, who was in Singapore to receive the award, says: “I am flattered and delighted. I feel particularly honoured to have received the Best Current Affairs Presenter award three times in the last six years.’’

HARDtalk India has featured guests including the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh; the Leader of the Opposition and BJP President, L.K. Advani; plus the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Delhi, Assam, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh. Some of the international leaders that the programme has interviewed are the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice; the former Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga; the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto; and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In addition, BBC World gained another nomination at the Asian Television Awards in the category of Best Documentary Programme for The Legend of Fat Mama. Produced by Ice Cube Design & Films for BBC World, the documentary is about the Chinese community in Kolkata, and offers a nostalgic journey in search of a woman who once made outstanding noodles in Chinatown, revealing interesting interlinked stories.

The Asian Television Awards, established in 1996, are designed to recognise and reward programming and production excellence across Asia. The awards, now in their tenth year, are

given across 33 categories including Best Current Affairs Presenter, Best Documentary Programme, Best Drama Series, Best Talk Show and Best Cinematography amongst others, and judged by an eminent panel, drawn from leading broadcasters across 15 Asian nations.


Note to Editors:

BBC World, the BBC’s commercially funded international 24-hour news and information channel, is owned and operated by BBC World Ltd, a member of the BBC’s commercial group of companies. BBC World is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and reaches 270 million households (128 million 24-hour homes) and more than one million hotel rooms. BBC World launched in its present format in 1995 and is funded by advertising and subscription. For further information on how to receive BBC World, download schedules or find out more about the channel, visit

BBC World was recently named the Best Foreign Channel at the Indian Television Academy Awards 2005 held in Mumbai in November 2005. Decided on the basis of public polling, the BBC’s international news channel triumphed over other fellow nominees Star Movies, AXN and HBO.


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