As countries locked down last year, Freddie Sayers started Lockdown TV – an interview series with experts from around the world. At first, these conversations offered arguments against the lockdown strategies being implemented. Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist, and the Oxford University professor, Sunetra Gupta, argued that lockdowns would do more harm than the virus they were trying to contain.
These views were countered in subsequent interviews with Devi Sridhar and Neil Ferguson. The discussions soon reached almost 1m views on YouTube and Freddie saw the demand to extend the series into other areas of the news cycle. Eminent economic historian, Niall Ferguson, spoke about China’s place in the post pandemic world. The Saudi Arabian ambassador to the UK spoke about his country’s liberalisation. Steven Pinker criticised ‘cancel culture’.
The breakout success of the series has hinged on Freddie’s talent as an interviewer. Even in a virtual setting, he creates a strong rapport with his subjects and teases out important insights.
Freddie Sayers is a journalist and interviewer who runs the UK-based alternative media platform UnHerd, and presents the site’s breakout YouTube interview series, LockdownTV. The series includes interviews with some of the world’s most influential scientists, economists, and politicians.