to protect people‘ who were exposed to the coronavirus in care homes. critics say the prime minister must account for official figures —— showing 10,000 ‘unexplained' deaths last month —— in care homes in england and wales. the uk is already in the depths of a significant recession according to the chancellor, rishi sunak. figures show the economy contracting at the fastest pace since the 2008 financial crisis. mr sunak told the bbc that just "a few days of impact from the virus" in march pushed the economy into decline. us security agencies have accused china of trying to steal american research on coronavirus vaccines and treatments. the fbi and the us cybersecurity agency say they're investigating digital break—ins by chinese—backed hackers at us research institutions and pharmaceutical companies involved in the covid—nineteen response.
now on bbc news, hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. the global coronavirus pandemic has changed pretty much everything from almost everybody. it is, a public health emergency but it is also having massive economic social and cultural impacts. this very building usually houses are hardtalk studio and that is currently out of commission. thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the show can go on. and my guest today is the much acclaimed british actor who is currently starting in the smash hit tv drama. he is living and self isolation in u pstate n ew he is living and self isolation in upstate new york. but he is able to
talk to me. brian cox in new york state, welcome to hardtalk. thank you, stephen. thank you for inviting you into your home via your laptop. you have been living in brooklyn now, you are in a cabin in new york state. new york state is the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic in the us. what is life like been like for you? i, because i am a diabetic, i have not been engaging in anything apart from the prisoners been doing wonders as my wife, has been fantastic and she is very meticulous about the clubs and the masks and bacterial wipes
and the masks and bacterial wipes and she does the whole bit and i just sit here, kind of like some sacred cow. a sacred bowl, i guess. a sacred bowl, i beg your pardon. you're laughing about it, but it is stressful, isn't it. yes, we are beginning to get the cabin fever. i am quite reclusive, i spent a lot of time between here and london and sell, i am quite good at being reclusive. i am quite good, in fact, i think my wife is blessed that i'm actually doing nothing for the first time, except with the stuff like this. life is never been busier, which is the irony. you, like everybody, looks beyond their own window and it is very striking how the world is watching what is happening on for the new york city.
we are talking thousands dead, when oi’ we are talking thousands dead, when or more who have been infected. how does that impact upon you because you have a home in new york city, holmes elsewhere, homes in london. does it feel like new york is really suffering right now?|j does it feel like new york is really suffering right now? i am in contact with a few people and they are fairly sequestered in and not going out. in the country it is a little bit more different, because in the country there is a sort of, it seems to bea country there is a sort of, it seems to be a bit more relaxed. but because i have certain responsibilities, i have decided that i really have cut myself off andi that i really have cut myself off and i know in new york, it is tough what is going on in new york because also, there is so much media hysteria. it is sometimes difficult to know what is the right thing and
what is the wrong thing. i find that especially with the american media, it is such an onslaught. i am very happy to watch the bbc because it seems to be very sensible and i get a little confused watching the other channels because i think what is going on. it's a little bit over the top, if you can get my meaning. going on. it's a little bit over the top, if you can get my meaninglj going on. it's a little bit over the top, if you can get my meaning. i do and we talk confusion that has beset that there seems to be some confusion in the mind of the american president who for a long time was saying that the lockdown should not last long that americans needed and wanted to get back to work and keep the economy open and there is this dilemma notjust for him but for all governments and leaders to get the balance right between the lock down in the effort to really overcome this virus but not destroy the economy. do you think from your vantage point that the americans have gotten it right right now? there are still a lot of
confusion. a lot of, it is not going down particularly well. i was listening to an american general who was in charge of the katrina situation and he believes there is a lot of hanky—panky going on with who is getting contracts to do what. so, there's an element where i believe it seems to be a bit of you scratch my back, i scratch yours going on. and ifind my back, i scratch yours going on. and i find that kind of despicable. really, i am and i find that kind of despicable. really, iam more and i find that kind of despicable. really, i am more concerned about the people and they're more concerned about the common sense of doing what you should do, which is not have social contact. to maintain your discipline and staying within your discipline and staying within your boundaries and that is the best way to deal with it and at the moment, there is a lot of headless chickens, you know? let me ask you what it is like, an actor with great experience who have lived through all sorts of different crises in a
long career spending almost six decades. what is it like seeing all of the theatres in new york city dark? all of the theatres dark and empty? no filming at all happening around the world on movies? door industry is in total deepfreeze right now. absolutely and it is tragic but there doesn't seem to be any other way that you can afford not closing theatres and hopefully it is not going to last but it is something that we have to deal with at the moment. interesting enough, there is a lot of people doing kind of independent virtual, i'm actually about to do a virtual film with three female directors in the uk and a couple of us, one from denmark, one from la, and we are doing this rather sweet funny film about the
agoura phobic society agoraphobic society. it is such a huge loss in people have so much invested out there and so, my heart goes out to a lot of the theatre producers who are really having a tough time. one thing that is not going to happen that many people around the world will be sad to ponder is the succession that was due to going into preproduction and that is not happening. it is going to happen to series iii. we are just on happening. it is going to happen to series iii. we arejust on hold. we will resume as soon as is safe to resume because the show is very popular and season three of prayer, the guys have got it all written and thatis the guys have got it all written and that is great. and so it is ready to go but we have to get our various people from around the globe and
also with the location is and also interestingly enough, to acknowledge covid—i9 in the next series? so there is a lot of epson bots and so i don't think succession, i think succession will be going on but i don't think you'll be happening probably until i would sayjuly or august i think. i'm going to come back to succession but i'm going to flip the conversation a little bit and be more reflective as to you and your past because as you say, you are now hunkered down, you are diabetic, your over 70 cigarette a high risk category when it comes to coronavirus. i'm sorry to mention it but it is true. this is a tough time for you but it strikes me that in your life that you have known plenty of tough times, not least in your childhood and your youth. do you think that has well prepared you for
a time like this? is a great question, stephen. ithink a time like this? is a great question, stephen. i think it has. i think the way that i have been lucky in my profession because the one thing that my profession does not depend on his security. we are a lwa ys depend on his security. we are always in the permanent state of insecurity. and something more secure than the present time. so, in a way, it falls into character quite easily. where did you get your passion and drive for acting from? many people will not know that you came from a family which suffered a lot and your childhood. your father died of cancer when you are aid, your mum had very serious mental illness and she could really look after you. so siblings did much of that. and yet, despite leaving school early, not having good exam
results, it seems absolutely determined to get into acting and to make it. where did that come from? really, came from my dad because, i did not have a blissful childhood when my father passed away my mum at a series of nervous breakdowns and she had to undergo electric shock treatment which was horrible. and before that, we, i had a relatively pleasa nt before that, we, i had a relatively pleasant childhood because one of the greatest celebrations, i was able to stay up late and watch people sing it, get drunk, my mother used to make steak pie at four o'clock and it was a kind of weird extraordinary time in the my dad and my sister may, they would put me on the bunker would put me on a window
station with curtains days to perform at the age of two and a half. i used to perform songs. i would do al limitations which would be politically incorrect today. and we always had a house full of people coming in and that was where i got that sense of performance and the thing that happened to people that you could see something laid up in the age of the very young it stayed with me and it marks me as far as my profession is concerned. and what is very striking is that you did come from pretty tough for working class roots and after drama school, you made it both in stage, all the way to the national theatre and movies
all the way to hollywood and you we re all the way to hollywood and you were a working actor success and it seems to me now that there are probably fewer of those stories than there were in the 1960s and 70s. don't get me started that is my how we educate our younger relation to the arts and how little we care and spend. but i think of the 60s, which is the period of extraordinary social mobility. a man like me had a grand, iwas social mobility. a man like me had a grand, i was paid for by the scottish education authority, we went to a drama school and we've had expenses paid. we actually did very well and i was rewarded for trying to do something and that wasn'tjust me, those climate of the time, the 60s was lovely. bills like that. does that period which is seen slow, bit by bit, eradicated put to one
side and i am not going to this anybody. fair dues to places that have these wonderful theatre establishments and have spent the money and they've done it, but i do think that somebody like me, it is almost impossible now. and especially now, we're going to have to reflect the now that goes on in the now that is going on at the moment our people are the working class people, are the nurses, all the lorry drivers, all the carriers in the homes. these are the people that we now have to begin to start reflecting in a way and that behooves us to do so. that is fascinating, your take on your own industry and how you fit to your wider view of society because it will be fair to say that the pretty
much been a lifelong socialist. fastening to be that as a lifelong socialist, you chose very consciously to spend a lot of your time in the home of free—market capitalism and rugged individualism, the united states. why? earning a living. it is disappointing history because you look at what is happened and you look at what was possible. i did the campaign for the labour party in 1997 and i thought that we we re party in 1997 and i thought that we were onto something that we could really shift the paradigm once and for all and we did not. no sums at the same time that i thought, vulgar, have to go and earn a living because it's the same old, same old. we can't of 20 make it out of the groove —— we can get it out of the groove, and america's huge problems. it has become, very oriented to a
wealth class which is extremely unpleasant. i was on bill marsh of the other day and they're talking about socialism is to regard socialism as reds under the bed. wait a socialism as reds under the bed. waita minute, socialism as reds under the bed. wait a minute, hang socialism as reds under the bed. waita minute, hang on, that is on the socialism is about. socialism is about suffrage and welfare, welfare for all. and i still believe in that even though, as my brother would say, i have earned a crust or to stop by the passion and the belief is coming clear and i become very mindful i've made a few notes some of the projects that you have been involved with in the original hannibal lector and man hunter, bourne identity, x—men, braveheart. all these massive blockbuster projects and a lot of it is making megabucks for the big hollywood studios. and here you are, the scottish socialist. in fairness to
that, i have done a lot, a much independent films as they have done blockbuster films. and independent films as they have done blockbusterfilms. and blockbuster films did allow me. it wasn't a huge sum, but it did allow me to function more in the independent market and a lwa ys more in the independent market and always thought about the independent market. i think my list of independent films this is great is my list of studio movies. and let me tell you just on the question of where the movie industry is martin scorsese wrote about his opinions on the artform was being polluted by the artform was being polluted by the superhero comic book novel that it's become such a successful formula that in his view, that they're not formula that in his view, that they‘ re not really formula that in his view, that they're not really movies, they are theme parks. their killing creativity. they are steadily eliminating artistic risk from this
artform. do you feel the same way? i'm a little bit more temperate than he is, but i do feel the same way. what i think they thing now is television. television is so ahead of the cinema. the cinema was very archaic in its thinking and it's being and it is run towards figures and now you, now it has to be rethought because of the best laid schemes of mice and men have gone well after recent times. the cinema is well in the past. television is something else. the long form, the writing is exceptional. 0ur writers are all in their own rights brilliant writers. let me dig into
succession with you. because it has been such a worldwide hit, you have played this ruthless bullying, media mogul. logan roy, who some people see as a symbolic rupert murdoch style figure. your performance is ferocious. you say, and you say when talking about it, that you actually feel some sympathy for logan roy. you say that you empathize with him andi you say that you empathize with him and i am wondering what that is about this ruthless bully that you like. we are seeing wonderful things of the moment, do not give me room. i think there is such amazing acts of courage and bravery going on and it is amazing what is happening out there. but at the same time, we hold there. but at the same time, we hold the mirrorup to there. but at the same time, we hold the mirror up to nature. that is her job, that is what we do. and the
mirror shows the nature and all of its flaws and we are very much in the middle of an evolution where we have not involved enough to stop where we are quite disappointing in many ways. the human experiment is quite disappointing because of the avarice in the creed that goes with it and we see it every day, every time the american president opens his mouth. let me stop you. that is such a depressing reflection that succession is expressing the spirit of our times succession is expressing the spirit of ourtimesa succession is expressing the spirit of our times a i am old enough to remember west wing when it first came out and that seemed like, there is so much hoping that because the presidentialfigure in is so much hoping that because the presidential figure in the west wing was basically a good guy. but it is not all about that, it is reflecting the times. we reflect the times and we are in a very confused time. people like logan roy, logan roy is a self—made man that is what he and
i have in common. he is a powerful he is also a nihilist. very much nihilist and he cannot express, he loves his children. i asked jesse that time and he said yes. he certainly loves his children. well, he has a funny way of expressing it. it strikes me as you are a self—made man and logan roy is the simplest of you have four kids in the schism been brought up in a very different environment from yourself. are you saying that you, like logan roy, have been brought up in an environment that they have been made spoiled and soft? to think that the experience of the successful parent? they are still young and they're still forming as personalities and
we are here in a very enclosed environment now with my two youngest boys, my 18—year—old my 15—year—old naturally, they're going to extraordinary times. they're going through difficult times as kids and trying to make sense of a world that doesn't seem to make any sense at the moment. it makes less sense now thanit the moment. it makes less sense now than it ever has. so it is very hard, to they practice faith? today practice meditation? today follow some spiritual idea? how do they be who they are. how did they because they are and be with themselves? and thatis they are and be with themselves? and that is tough. 0urjob is artists, playwrights and actors and people of theatre and television, is to try and reflect the world as it is. we don't makejudgements, and reflect the world as it is. we don't make judgements, we just say this is the world and it is ludicrous. i think the world is ludicrous. i think the world is
ludicrous. years ago when i did a player of shakespeare that everybody dismissed as being, it is an impossible play. but then we realise all the great ideas of shakespeare's plays, all of them are in the play and it is about the breakdown structure. it is about rome finally imploded on itself and all of the
horribleness that comes out of it. that was written in 1593 or 5092 and that shows a world which is still in the state of flux —— 1592. that is will we reflect. might make a final thought, that continues to be your job andi thought, that continues to be your job and i canjust thought, that continues to be your job and i can just tell from this interview that you are determined you are determined to continue and thatis you are determined to continue and that is the logan roy to revisit, you have done everything from titus andronicus and you just did lyndon
johnson on broadway. 0ur andronicus and you just did lyndon johnson on broadway. our us determined as ever to find these huge parts that say so much about the times we live in? for example, he said during the lyndonjohnson show which was very physically demanding was that you took it on because it was a challenge and at my age, i wanted to see if the old muscles are still working. it seems like they are. you they are. but there's also the other side of it. i just did this thing i think he is on bbc four, he comes to my hometown. that is, that as a whole different thing in it is quite comedic, it is funny and i'm doing this thing about staying the house. wash your hands all of that. and it is a public broadcast. and that is the work. that is what we do. that is the great joy about what we do. the difference. we cannot take sides.
you have to empathize, never sympathise, empathize and to show that this is the world, this is as it is, like it or not. brian cox, it is been a real pleasure talking to you on hardtalk. i am a great admirerand you on hardtalk. i am a great admirer and i've been watching her interviews for the past three or four years and i love them enormously. that is a very lovely way to finish. thank you so much and i appreciate that. hello. wednesday was a pretty decent day for many parts of the british isles. high pressure west of the british isles, providing quite a bit of dry area for many areas. there is the high as we start thursday, still extending that low of high pressure
across many areas, but underneath that under overnight, the skies will clear. there will be quite a widespread frost to start the day, it might even be 1—2 records set for the night. a different story north in scotland, the weather front here dragging in a fair amount of cloud, a more noticeable breeze, though breezy still through the channel areas and the southern counties of england. but in between, come the afternoon, there will be variable cloud and decent sunny spells. we are just beginning to take those temperatures up from where they were at the start of the week. 0vernight, i think we will still import quite a bit of cloud across many areas of the british isles, and if you keep the cloud, that will help to keep temperatures up. so, thursday into friday, notjust as cold, though if you keep the skies clear, again you're temperatures really will dribble away. so here we are as far ahead as friday. rather having the northerly that we had on the eastern
flank of that high to start the week, now it is more of a westerly breeze with a hint of northerly in it. so that is just helping to give a slightly warmer feel to the days then we started in the week. there's still a lot of dry weather, although weather front is plaguing the north and northwest of scotland, so more cloud and rain here. wherever you look on that chart, you will find those temperatures finding a degree or two per day. 0n into the weekend, forget all about northerly is and north westerlies. it is much more of a south and south—westerly flow around the area of high—pressure there. certainly dominant in the south of the british isles, but you will notice further north we have weather fronts. so although it turns increasingly mild, it is not all sunshine all the way by any means, and certainly in the sunday we suspect a good part of scotland and northern ireland could see enough cloud for there to be bits and pieces of rain. certainly further south under the influence of high—pressure,
a very warm welcome to bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm mike embley. the uk government defends itself against claims it was too slow to protect people exposed to coronavirus in care homes. us security agencies accuse china of trying to steal american research on vaccines and treatments. even worse than previously thought — the death toll from an attack on a maternity ward in afghanistan is rising. we'll hear from a doctor about the rare disease — thought to be linked to covid—19 — which appears to be affecting children. and what lessons can the rest of the world learn from denmark about how to socially distance in schools?