BARACK OBAMA will be interviewed by David Olusoga in an exclusive UK broadcast ahead of the release of his memoirs.
The former US president will be in conversation with historian, and broadcaster, who is also a columnist for The Voice newspaper, in a special programme – Barack Obama Talks to David Olusoga.
Commissioned by BBC Arts, the 30-minute special will air on Wednesday 18 November at 7.30pm on BBC One.
“Meeting Barack Obama to discuss his memoirs is a great honour”
In the programme, Obama will discuss the first volume of his presidential memoirs, A Promised Land. He will share his motivations for writing the book and the challenges he faced confronting political, cultural and racial divisions in America, as the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.
Olusoga said: “Meeting Barack Obama to discuss his memoirs is a great honour. 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. 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.”
Following the BBC One broadcast, Barack Obama Talks To David Olusoga will be available on BBC Radio 4 in a special audio recording introduced by Olusoga on Thursday 19 November at 9am. A longer version of the interview will also be available to listen to on-demand on BBC Sounds.
The programme will be broadcast internationally by BBC World Service Radio on Thursday 19 November and BBC World News and BBC News Channel over the weekend.
Jonty Claypole, director of BBC Arts said: “Ever since the publication of Dreams from My Father twenty-five years ago, Obama’s books are masterpieces of political memoir and autobiography. 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.”
Amy Flanagan, head of The Documentary Unit, BBC Studios Production, said: “It’s a huge privilege to be bringing together Barack Obama and David Olusoga in what has been an extraordinary year of social change.”
From Monday 14 December, BBC Radio 4 will broadcast an abridged reading of Barack Obama’s A Promised Land, read by Obama himself, serialised over two weeks as Radio 4’s Book of the Week.
All 10 parts will be available on BBC Sounds immediately after the first part has aired.