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 For advertising enquiries, email Production: Joel Duddell, Miriam Baines, Tom Pink, George Tapp, Dorry Macaulay, Cian Ryan-Morgan, Joseph McGann. Compositions by Oliver Baines, Dorry Macaulay, Tom Pink.

Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 51m. Bisher sind 114 Folge(n) erschienen. Dieser Podcast erscheint wöchentlich.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 3 days 17 hours 6 minutes


episode 113: 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+...


 December 27, 2023  56m

episode 112: 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...


 December 20, 2023  58m

episode 111: 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+...


 December 13, 2023  53m

episode 110: 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+...


 December 6, 2023  46m

episode 109: 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...


 November 29, 2023  51m

episode 108: 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+...


 November 22, 2023  48m

episode 107: 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+...


 November 15, 2023  49m

episode 106: 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+...


 November 8, 2023  44m

episode 105: 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’...


 November 1, 2023  51m

episode 104: 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+...


 October 4, 2023  1h4m