Show cover of Real Dictators

Real Dictators

Real Dictators is the award-winning podcast that explores the hidden lives of history's tyrants. Hosted by Paul McGann, with contributions from eyewitnesses and expert historians. New episodes available one week early for Noiser+ subscribers. You'll also get ad-free listening and exclusive content. To find out more about Noiser+, head to noiser.com/subscriptions. For advertising enquiries, email info@adelicious.fm Production: Joel Duddell, Miriam Baines, Tom Pink, George Tapp, Dorry Macaulay, Cian Ryan-Morgan, Joseph McGann. Compositions by Oliver Baines, Dorry Macaulay, Tom Pink.

Tracks

Herod the Great Part 2: Murders in the Family
Herod leaves Rome to wrest Judea from the Parthians. He will marry a princess, commission extraordinary building works, and even murder his in-laws as he tries to win over his people. But how will that desperate quest shape his subjects’ lives, and his own legacy? And what of Herod’s most notorious act - the Slaughter of the Innocents? A Noiser production, written by Kate Harrison. This is Part 2 of 2. Get every episode of Real Dictators a week early with Noiser+. You’ll also get ad-free listening, bonus material and early access to shows across the Noiser network. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
56:07 27/12/2023
Herod the Great Part 1: Ruler of Galilee
Herod - you may well know the name from the Nativity story. The cruel king who learns of a prophecy proclaiming a Messiah and orders the slaughter of innocent children in response. He’s become synonymous with almost pantomime villainy. At the same time, Herod changed the face of the Middle East in the 1st century BC. His reign featured dazzling architectural ventures and significant legal changes… as well as social division, political intrigue and murderous family drama. So, all in all, who really was this iconic figure of the immediate pre-Christian era? A Noiser production, written by Kate Harrison. This is Part 1 of 2. Get every episode of Real Dictators a week early with Noiser+. You’ll also get ad-free listening, bonus material and early access to shows across the Noiser network. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
58:14 20/12/2023
Saddam Hussein Part 5: The War on Terror
In the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair send troops back into Iraq. In a highly symbolic moment, beamed around the world, a giant statue of Saddam comes crashing down. But as the Iraqi dictator performs his vanishing act, how soon can they track him down? And after Saddam’s toppling, how will ordinary Iraqis fare? A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett. This is Part 5 of 5. Get every episode of Real Dictators a week early with Noiser+. You’ll also get ad-free listening, bonus material and early access to shows across the Noiser network. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
53:45 13/12/2023
Saddam Hussein Part 4: The First Gulf War
After Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, US forces are deployed to the region. For some Iraqis, it seems like the perfect time to rise up against their dictator. As economic sanctions bite, Saddam treats himself to a bit of retail therapy. All the while, his sons are becoming terrifying figures in their own right. A family crisis is about to snowball into a murderous feud… A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett. Get every episode of Real Dictators a week early with Noiser+. You’ll also get ad-free listening, bonus material and early access to shows across the Noiser network. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
46:42 06/12/2023
Saddam Hussein Part 3: Oil and the Ayatollah
Saddam nationalises the Iraq Petroleum Company and clashes with the new leader of Iran. A man called ‘Chemical Ali’ commits one of the most heinous atrocities of modern times. Meanwhile, sculptures of the Iraqi dictator are commissioned across the land. With his personality cult firmly established, Saddam is ready for war… A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett. For more on Saddam and his cook, listen to our bonus episode on Dictators’ Chefs. Get every episode of Real Dictators a week early with Noiser+. You’ll also get ad-free listening, bonus material and early access to shows across the Noiser network. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
54:38 29/11/2023
Saddam Hussein Part 2: Enforcer, Frontman, Mafia Godfather
Saddam consolidates his own power base, appointing friends and relatives to key positions. We hear a remarkable account from a woman whose own family was targeted by his secret police. Soon, the deputy will be in pole position to move against his mentor. And after that, Saddam will shore up the loyalty of his party with an act of political theatre for the ages… A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett. Get every episode of Real Dictators a week early with Noiser+. You’ll also get ad-free listening, bonus material and early access to shows across the Noiser network. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
48:55 22/11/2023
Saddam Hussein Part 1: Son of the Alleyways
In the spring of 1937, a child dies and his brother is born. Translated from Arabic, the newborn’s name - Saddam - means ‘one who confronts’. As his life will demonstrate, it couldn’t be more appropriate. So how does a boy from a tough peasant background go on to rise to the very top of Iraq’s leadership? How does his journey towards global infamy begin? Narrated by Paul McGann. A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett. Get every episode of Real Dictators a week early with Noiser+. You’ll also get ad-free listening, bonus material and early access to shows across the Noiser network. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
49:22 15/11/2023
Macías Nguema Part 2: Hiding in the Jungle with all the Money
With President Macías in power, educated Equatoguineans come under attack, as a bizarre vendetta is pursued against teachers, lawyers and doctors. Things take a turn for the metaphysical, as Macías declares himself God. Finally, as paranoia completely overwhelms him, his inner circle will take matters into their own hands… Narrated by Paul McGann. A Noiser production, written by Sean Coleman. This is Part 2 of 2. Get every episode of Real Dictators a week early with Noiser+. You’ll also get ad-free listening, bonus material and early access to shows across the Noiser network. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
44:17 08/11/2023
Macías Nguema Part 1: The Dachau of Africa
This is the extraordinary, blood-curdling story of a dictator you may never have heard of. From 1968-1979, the African nation of Equatorial Guinea was helmed by its first, and to date only, freely elected president. Initially, Francisco Macías Nguema was seen by the Spanish colonial authorities as a safe choice. He proved to be anything but. Things went off the rails at an astonishing rate, as Macías rapidly turned the country into what would be called the ‘Dachau of Africa’. His is a tale of sheer opportunism on the way up, and drug-fuelled paranoia on the way down… Narrated by Paul McGann. A Noiser production, written by Sean Coleman. This is Part 1 of 2. Get every episode of Real Dictators a week early with Noiser+. You’ll also get ad-free listening, bonus material and early access to shows across the Noiser network. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started with a 7-day free trial. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
51:56 01/11/2023
Hitler: The Bunker and the End
We reach the dramatic conclusion of Hitler’s downfall. With the Battle of Berlin raging, the Führer makes his last stand. Underground, in a bunker beneath the Chancellery, he will conduct the final act of his life: a macabre ritual of marriage, murder and suicide… A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson. This is Part 25 of the Hitler Story. Scroll down the Real Dictators feed for earlier episodes. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started with a 7-day free trial. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
64:15 03/10/2023
Hitler: Operation Valkyrie, Blowing up the Führer
A delusional Hitler downplays the Normandy Landings. A group of generals, meanwhile, attempts an audacious military coup. And with Allied bombers pounding the Fatherland, Germany’s dictator plays his next card… Scientific wonder-weapons that will turn the war back his way… A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson. This is Part 24 of the Hitler Story. Scroll down the Real Dictators feed for earlier episodes. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started with a 7-day free trial. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
55:05 26/09/2023
Hitler: Mussolini’s Prison Break
In Italy, Il Duce is overthrown. So Hitler stages a daring mission to rescue his fascist partner. With the Red Army rampant, another epochal battle sends the Wehrmacht on the retreat. Soon, more bad news will reach the Berghof, as Allied troops start landing in Normandy. But with the Führer fast asleep in his quarters, will anyone dare to break it to him? A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson. This is Part 23 of the Hitler Story. Scroll down the Real Dictators feed for earlier episodes. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started with a 7-day free trial. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
51:01 19/09/2023
Hitler: The Battle of Stalingrad
The myth of the Nazi war machine is blown apart in one of the pivotal battles of World War 2. Serious questions arise as to Hitler’s leadership, encouraging a growing German resistance. As Allied forces eye Sicily, a paranoid Führer retreats further into himself. His war of conquest is becoming a war of defence… A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson. This is Part 22 of the Hitler Story. Scroll down the Real Dictators feed for earlier episodes. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started with a 7-day free trial. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
56:18 12/09/2023
Adolf Hitler: The Final Solution
This is Part 21 of the Hitler Story. You can start listening here. Or, scroll down the Real Dictators feed for earlier episodes. We pick up the story in 1942. World War 2 is well underway and the Führer is still in the box seat. But he is not as untouchable as he used to be. Nazi high-ups gather at the Wannsee Conference, honing a plan to exterminate an entire race. With the war in Russia on the rocks, and Hitler increasingly AWOL, Goebbels struggles to control the narrative. The resistance is growing. A leading figure of the Third Reich is about to be taken out in broad daylight… A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started with a 7-day free trial. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
55:48 05/09/2023
Introducing: Real Survival Stories - Glacier Escape
Noiser presents a brand-new podcast. Real Survival Stories brings you astonishing tales of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary survival situations. In this taster episode, two friends embark on an awe-inspiring trip into the mountains. But then, one false step sends Jim Davidson and Mike Price plummeting into a crevasse. Trapped deep beneath the surface of a glacier, surrounded by sheer walls of ice, Jim will come to realise there’s only one way he can possibly escape… If you enjoy this taster episode, search ‘Real Survival Stories’ in your podcast app and hit follow to get new episodes every Thursday. There are more epic tales live now and waiting for you. Real Dictators will return on August 30th for Noiser+ subscribers and September 6th for general release, as we begin the final set of episodes from the Adolf Hitler story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
44:43 16/08/2023
Attila the Hun Part 2: The Scourge of God
We track Attila’s progress as he rampages through Gaul. A family bust-up sparks an extraordinary alliance, as Attila gets engaged to the Roman Emperor’s sister. With the Huns storming deep into Western Europe, their king is on a collision course with his old friend Aetius. Will the Romans’ fragile coalition hold? Or will the prophecy of the Sword of Mars be realised? A Noiser production, written by Mark Piesing. This is Part 2 of 2. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started with a 7-day free trial. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
51:36 08/08/2023
Attila the Hun Part 1: The Sword of Mars
We’re in south-eastern Europe in the 400s AD. The once mighty Roman Empire is riven in two. And on the Great Hungarian Plain a fearsome enemy is rising. The Huns’ king, Attila, will become a terrifying, iconic figure. A byword for plundering and pillaging. The archetypal warlord. But who was he really, according to those who observed him? What did Attila do that was so significant? And is his bloody reputation entirely deserved? A Noiser production, written by Mark Piesing. This is Part 1 of 2. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started with a 7-day free trial. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to noiser.com/subscriptions Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
58:36 01/08/2023
Manuel Noriega Part 3: Bush Invades Panama
The Americans go all-in, deploying stealth bombers, helicopters and tens of thousands of troops to Panama. Meanwhile, agents attempt to penetrate the dictator’s inner circle, as a US operative befriends Noriega’s mistress. Will the missions succeed? Or will Noriega slip away again? A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett. This is Part 3 of 3. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
57:12 11/07/2023
Manuel Noriega Part 2: A Tale of Two Spy Chiefs
Shielded by a puppet president, Noriega takes power. But the spymaster struggles in his new role as dictator. The war on drugs escalates in dramatic fashion. As the tide turns against Noriega, he will find himself on a collision course with the man about to assume the US presidency: George H.W. Bush… A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett. This is Part 2 of 3. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
52:03 04/07/2023
Manuel Noriega Part 1: The Narco Dictator
For two decades, Manuel Noriega stamped his authority on Panama - first as the country’s brutal intelligence chief, and later, from 1983-89, as its de facto military ruler. A gangster up to his neck in drug trafficking, gun running and organised crime. But also, a key asset of the CIA. How did a poor boy from Panama grow up to become such a chameleon on the world stage? And why does so much of the Noriega story remain in the shadows? A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett. This is Part 1 of 3. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
64:39 27/06/2023
BONUS: Dictators’ Chefs
For this special bonus episode, Noiser writer Duncan Barrett sat down for a chat with Witold Szabłowski, author of How to Feed a Dictator: Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Enver Hoxha, Fidel Castro and Pol Pot Through the Eyes of Their Cooks. The role of personal chef to a dictator is a fascinating one. It’s an extremely intimate relationship. These cooks have literally nourished tyrants. They’ve satisfied their culinary cravings, altered their moods for better and worse, and even influenced their policies. So what can they tell us about dictators’ appetites? Real Dictators will return soon for Season 5. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
37:01 09/05/2023
Introducing: Detectives Don’t Sleep - The Nazi Art Mystery (Part 1 of 3)
The makers of Real Dictators present a brand-new podcast: Detectives Don’t Sleep. Step beyond the police tape to shadow the real detectives who worked history’s most intriguing cases. In this taster episode, we’re hot on the heels of international art detective Arthur Brand. He is hunting down a pair of lost statues… Two giant bronze horses that were once beloved by none other than Adolf Hitler. But a case of missing artworks quickly spirals into something far more dangerous - a deadly neo-Nazi conspiracy… If you enjoy this taster episode, search ‘Detectives Don’t Sleep’ in your podcast app and hit follow to get new episodes every Tuesday. Part 2 of the Nazi Art Mystery is live now on the Detectives Don’t Sleep podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
51:37 17/04/2023
Hitler: Attack on Russia, War with America…
The Führer’s deputy embarks on an astonishing secret mission. After baling out Mussolini in the Balkans, German troops finally march into the Soviet Union. Undeterred by the bloodshed, Hitler will sign off 1941 by declaring war on the United States… A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson. Scroll down the Real Dictators feed for episodes on Hitler’s early years and rise to power. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
59:43 15/03/2023
Adolf Hitler vs Winston Churchill
Installed in Downing Street, Churchill arrives with a bang. The Battle of Britain rages in the skies, while the Nazis plot a seaborne invasion across the English Channel. And Hitler extends his network of allies, seeking to bring the Spanish and Japanese strongmen to the table… A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson. Scroll down the Real Dictators feed for episodes on Hitler’s early years and rise to power. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
51:53 08/03/2023
Hitler: A Brush With Death…
World War Two begins. After the invasion of Poland, Hitler sets his sights on Scandinavia. A devastating lightning war rolls over Western Europe, as the German panzers arrive in Paris. Meanwhile, the Führer’s British lover makes an attempt on her own life. And a lone clockmaker decides to bump off Hitler once and for all… A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson. Scroll down the Real Dictators feed for episodes on Hitler’s early years and rise to power. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
56:00 01/03/2023
Hitler’s Birthday, Poland’s Doom
Hitler continues his Godfather act, ignoring the Munich settlement and gobbling up the rest of Czechoslovakia. As he turns 50, the Führer is showered with extravagant birthday gifts. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the finishing touches are put to a shock pact with Stalin. But Britain and France draw a line. An invasion of Poland will mean war… A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson. Scroll down the Real Dictators feed for episodes on Hitler’s early years and rise to power. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
56:12 22/02/2023
Hitler: The Gathering Storm...
Hitler expands the Third Reich, annexing Austria and the Sudetenland. Britain and France seek a diplomatic solution at the Munich Conference. But how long will appeasement keep war at bay? Meanwhile, the Nazis stir up an orgy of anti-Jewish violence, Kristallnacht... A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson. This is Part 16 of the Hitler Story. Scroll down the Real Dictators feed for episodes on Hitler’s early years and rise to power. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
55:44 15/02/2023
Adolf Hitler: Unassailable Führer
This is Part 15 of the Hitler Story. You can start listening here. Or, scroll down the Real Dictators feed for episodes on Hitler’s early years and rise to power. We pick up the tale in the mid-1930s. From struggling artist to veteran soldier of the trenches, now Hitler is transformed into Germany’s dictator. The new Third Reich is in the spotlight at the Berlin Olympics. Behind the scenes, the armed forces expand at an alarming rate. The infamous Nuremberg Laws are unveiled. And Hitler dispatches an old friend on a suicide mission... A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
57:03 08/02/2023
Robert Mugabe Part 4: A Game of Thrones
At the age of 93, Mugabe’s days in office are numbered. But the succession crisis threatens to tear Zimbabwe apart. In South Africa, exiles hatch an extraordinary plan to oust him. And when the dictator’s own wife throws her hat into the ring, Mugabe’s house of cards will begin tumbling down… A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett. This is Part 4 of 4. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
60:39 30/11/2022
Robert Mugabe Part 3: Zimbabwe’s Tsunami
After two decades in office, Mugabe has already shown himself to be a tyrant. At the dawn of the 21st century, the outside world sits up and takes notice. Mugabe seizes white-owned farms and drags his country into the greatest economic crisis since the Wall Street Crash. But the resistance is growing stronger… A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett. This is Part 3 of 4. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
54:32 23/11/2022

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