RTHK’s ‘In Conversation’


Tired of aggressive interviewers on talk shows, who leave the interviewee either cowering or aggressive thereby dissipating the strength of the debate? If so, here is a show you will enjoy. The idea behind RTHK’s newest factual offering, In Conversation, is to go beyond the single-issue interview, and tackle important topics in a thoughtful, reflective and multidimensional manner. 

“Conversations are, after all, better when two people are talking, and two people are listening, than when one is simply interrogating the other,” explains executive producer Gary Pollard. “In choosing our guests we want to find people in whom we can bring out many dimensions. They may be politicians, artists, writers, social figures, or come from any walk of life.”

The relaxed format and disposal of the traditional interview-interviewee roles makes for more comfortable conversation and thus the ability to provoke honest opinion. Also, the idea of expanding dialogue outside of present-day issues allows more freedom for guests to impart their thoughts – no longer will we be watching political figures squirm in their seats, skirting around the answers we have been waiting to hear. 

That doesn’t mean we won’t be in for any entertainment. Host Stephen Davies is not one to shy away from steering the conversation into controversial areas. A prolific historian in the history of Southeast Asia, and the first director of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum in Stanley, Davies is ready share his perspective regardless of who his partner In Conversation is.

The first instalment already promises frank opinions. The first guest is LegCo President Tsang Yok-sing, controversially suggesting it would be better for China to allow Taiwan and Tibet to break away – his ideological left background may appear, at first, to be in stark contrast to that of Davies, a British marine in the New Territories. But the result may not be as you expect. "One interesting thing in this episode is that it's Tsang Yok-sing who says you should give up believing in socialism as you get older, and Stephen Davies who argues with him that you should not!" says Pollard. "Sometimes these conversations take interesting turns."

With upcoming guests set to include Mike Rowse, Leung Kwok-hung, Rachel Cartland, Allen Lee and more, this is certainly a conversation we’re looking forward to overhearing. Nastasia Malatesta

In Conversation starts May 8, 7pm on TVB Pearl and is repeated later that evening at 10:30pm on RTHK’s DDTV Channel 31 and again on the following Tuesday. 


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