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Barack Obama Talks To David Olusoga – how to watch interview

The former US President chats to historian and broadcaster David Olusoga ahead of his new book's release.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama is to be interviewed by historian David Olusoga in an exclusive UK broadcast on the BBC, ahead of the launch of the former US Presdient’s new book.


A 30-minute special airs on the BBC this week and will cover topics including Obama’s motivations behind writing his new book, A Promised Land, as well as the “challenges he faced confronting political, cultural and racial divisions in America, as the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office”.

A Promised Land is the first volume of Obama’s presidential memoirs and is released on 17th November.

Olusoga described interviewing Obama as “a great honour” and said the timing of their discussion was especially fitting.

“To be interviewing him now – at the end of a year in which race and racism and the histories that lie behind them have been at the centre of global events – seems fitting,” he said.

“My interview with the former President will highlight the obstacles he faced as President and ask whether his optimism in what he calls the ‘possibility of America’ has been challenged in recent years.”

Jonty Claypole, the Director of BBC Arts said that he was “thrilled” to have commissioned the programme, describing Obama’s books as “masterpieces of political memoir and autobiography.”

He added, “Having the opportunity to bring him face-to-face with David Olusoga, one of our foremost social historians and broadcasters, at the end of a year that has been defined by COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and one of the most fiercely-fought American elections in history, promises to be deeply illuminating.

“The programme will be broadcast on BBC One and will then be available on BBC platforms in the UK and internationally.”

Read on for everything you need to know about how to watch the interview.

When is Barack Obama Talks To David Olusoga on TV?

The 30-minute special will debut on BBC One on Wednesday 18th November at 7:30pm.

For viewers outside the UK, it will also be broadcast on BBC World News and BBC News Channel on Saturday 21st November and Sunday 22nd November.

How to watch Barack Obama Talks to David Olusoga

To watch the programme live in the UK, all you need to do is tune into BBC One at 7:30pm on Wednesday 18th November, while the interview will be available on BBC iPlayer shortly after broadcast.

That’s not the only way to experience the interview though: an audio version introduced by David Olusoga will be available on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 19 November at 9am, while an extended version can be accessed on-demand on BBC Sounds.

Meanwhile, for overseas viewers and listeners, the programme will be broadcast internationally by BBC World Service Radio on Thursday 19th November and BBC World News and BBC News Channel on Saturday 21st November and Sunday 22nd November.


Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide.