What time is the Donald Trump v Joe Biden debate and how can I watch from the UK?

What time is the Donald Trump v Joe Biden debate and how can I watch from the UK?

As the countdown to this year’s US election nears, America’s two potential candidates will face off in the first presidential debate tonight.

Incumbent Joe Biden will take to the stage against Republican Donald Trump in the much-anticipated televised event, hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

While the debates were initially designed to help inform undecided voters about who to support, they have also descended into a spectacle of political chaos in recent elections.

This year’s debates are taking place much earlier than previous election cycles, and they come with a series of new rules that both hopefuls have reportedly agreed to stick to.

However, if Trump’s outspoken record is anything to go by, viewers may be anticipating a clash of ideas, personal attacks, and even name-calling in the upcoming showdown.

Everything from Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza to ongoing legal battles and Trump’s criminal charges may be brought up during the 90-minute debate.

Aside from what they say, American voters will also be keenly watching how both men perform live in front of the cameras.

Both candidates, born in the 1940s, have faced mounting criticisms about their age, abilities to lead the nation, and their track records on various policies.

If Biden wins this year, he will remain in office until he is 86, around 20 years above America’s retirement age.

The US presidential debates, taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, will also attract an international audience that may need to catch up on the event the following day.

Here’s how viewers in the UK can tune in.

When is the Trump v Biden debate?

Trump and Biden will go head to head in the first presidential debate on Thursday, June 27, at at 9pm EST.

It will be streamed live on CNN, Fox News, and ABC, with each channel set to provide coverage and post-debate analysis following the event.

This means viewers in the UK will need to stay up until 2am on Friday to catch the start of the debate, or wait until the following morning to catch up.

How to watch the Trump v Biden debate

CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash (Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images)
CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash (Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images)

While most viewers in the US can tune in to CNN, Fox News, and ABC, not everyone in the UK has access to these channels.

However, Sky TV users can watch the debate from CNN International on channel 506.

Others can also subscribe to the CNN Live plan to livestream the debate online.

It appears that the debate will also be available to view directly after the event on CNN’s YouTube channel. Most UK media outlets will also provide analysis and key takeaways following this week’s event.

How will the debate work

This year, only Biden and Trump qualified to take part in the debate, as outlined in CNN's requirements.

As with past debates, the candidates will stand behind podiums and be asked a series of questions by the CNN hosts during the 90 minutes.

The debate will start with a question, to which the candidates have two minutes each to respond, as well as one minute for responses to the statements.

According to Time, a flashing red light will indicate to the candidates how long they have left to respond to the question.

New rules mean that this year’s debate will be slightly different from the events that took place in 2020.

For example, there will be no opening statements, but candidates will be allowed to conclude the debate with a two-minute speech.

There also isn’t a live audience, so there won’t be any heckling, applause, or boos coming from viewers in the studio.

What’s more, the mics will only be turned on when it's their turn to speak, meaning there’s no chance that Trump and Biden will speak over each other.

Biden and Trump are also not allowed to bring any notes or cues with them, but they will be provided with a pen, paper, and a bottle of water.

Why is the American presidency so important for the rest of the world?

American politics has great influence abroad and the president is also known as “the leader of the free world”. This name originated during the Cold War, and refers to the power the US wields in military matters globally, not just in terms of budget but with the amount of army bases they have scattered around the world.

This has implications that reach beyond the war in Gaza.

The UK fears that, if Trump wins, he could pick another fight with Europe over the Nato military alliance.

While, in the East, he could spark a trade war with China.

In an effort to counter China's rise, Trump and Biden are competing to be tough on Beijing and have similar economic strategies, such as boosting taxes on low-cost Chinese imports.

In the hopes of sending a clear message to an increasingly aggressive Beijing, Biden has fortified ties there.However, Trump prioritised getting the "best deal" over being a statesman while serving as president. In the event Seoul did not give Washington more money, he threatened to withdraw US troops from South Korea.

China is unlikely to have a favourite in the contest when the US casts its ballot.Beijing believes that an unpredictable Trump might both start a new trade war, and weaken and divide US partners in the area.They also won't be too thrilled with Biden serving another four years. They think his forging of alliances could lead to the start of a new cold war.

If Biden is chosen for another four years, would he be physically suitable for the role given his age (81) and be mentally competent to make important decisions? Trump faces the same concerns. As Sarah Baxter wrote in the Standard: “Ultimately, the debate will boil down to this: if Biden can stop sounding senile, he wins. If Trump can stop sounding crazy and self-obsessed, he wins.”A democratic crisis in the US might undermine US leadership internationally and give rise to autocrats elsewhere.

What other debates are taking place?

Vice president Kamala Harris (AFP via Getty Images)
Vice president Kamala Harris (AFP via Getty Images)

Following Thursday’s event, Biden and Trump will also go head to head closer to the election at a second debate hosted by ABC news on September 10.

A date for the vice-presidential debate is also expected to be announced in due course, where we will see VP Kamala Harris take on the unconfirmed Trump running mate.