Take Me To Your Leader!
Take Me To Your Leader!
About Take Me To Your Leader!
How well do we really know them, and what would we uncover if we asked their friends, enemies, colleagues and observers to 'Take me to Your Leader!'
Ferdinand Marcos Jr, better known as “Bongbong”, is the president of the Philippines. His popularity skyrocketed in recent years, particularly among Gen Z, thanks to his stardom on tiktok. But it was almost 40 years ago that he fled the country as a young governor when his father’s authoritarian and corrupt government was overturned in a dramatic coup.
Emmanuel Macron is a straight-talking, ambitious global figure who wants France to help solve the challenges of our time. But at home, he’s a divisive leader who faces a wave of discontent. So how did Emmanuel Macron start his own party and effectively come from nowhere to win two elections as the youngest president in French history. How will the charismatic centrist storming The Élysée Palace fare as far-right populism sweeps Europe?
Ursula von der Leyen is not easy to box. A mother of seven and medical doctor who once lived undercover, under a false identity in London before entering politics, has had a remarkable career. She rose through the ranks in the German parliament in the shadow of Angela Merkel, before being tapped on the shoulder for the president of the European Commission.
Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy has captured the world’s attention and admiration like few leaders can. When Russia launched its war on Ukraine in February 2022, the comic actor turned wartime leader became the face of Ukraine’s resistance. He refused offers of evacuation, famously telling Joe Biden he needed ammunition, not a ride.
Yevgeny Prigozhin is becoming a figure of huge influence in the world right now. A former petty criminal, hotdog vendor and restaurateur from St Petersburg who went on to build a powerful private army. Prigozhin has been a loyal ally of Putin’s until he turned his sights on Moscow, sparking the biggest crisis in Vladamir Putin’s presidency.
How did Narendra Modi go from selling tea on railway platforms rise to become the leader of almost 1.4 billion people? He’s a man with big ideas and an even bigger ambition for his country. But with a backstory full of both mythology and secrets, how much do we really know about his plans?
Sanna Marin became Finland’s third female prime minister at just 34. Her coalition of women-led parties suggest that another kind of politics might be possible. Leading a country with a 1300km border with Russia, Marin finds herself navigating choppy diplomatic and economic waters for Finland, and making the case to other world leaders on taking a tougher line against autocrats.
Rishi Sunak is a man of many firsts. He’s the first person of colour to become British PM, the first born to immigrant parents and the first practising Hindu to lead the country and at the age of 42, he’s also the youngest person to take office in more than 200 years. Following a chaotic few years at the top of UK politics, Sunak's appeal may well be him playing the "calm, cool, competent card."
Israel's veteran leader, Benjamin Netanyahu has served as the country's prime minister longer than anyone else. He's governed on and off for 15 years and has now made a dramatic return to power for a record third time. This time with the help of Israel's ultra-nationalists. He now heads one of the most right-wing governments in Israeli history. What has made King 'Bibi' politically invincible and what does his return aided by the religious far right mean for Israel and the Middle East?
Vladimir Putin’s built an image of the strong leader, bare chested fishing or riding a horse. A Martial arts expert, former intelligence agent and ruthless leader. But what’s behind the strongman persona? And has he put everything on the line with this current war? We hear from people who know him.
She’s lauded as a trailblazer for being Italy’s first female prime minister, but in her youth she also praised Mussolini. It begs the question, is Giorgia Meloni a feminist or a fascist? As we find out in this episode, the answer is not so simple. We hear how Meloni rose to power and what her far-right nationalist agenda will mean for Italy and Europe.
Mohammed bin Salman has been described as one of the world’s most dangerous millennials. He’s also been touted by some as Saudi Arabia’s progressive reformer. Who is Crown Prince Salman or MBS as he is commonly known, and what does his leadership mean for the future of Saudi Arabia and the region?
Xi Jinping is one of the most powerful leaders in the world today and he could rule for life. But how much do we really know about him? With China’s strict censorship laws, it’s hard to get the full picture. How did he rise to power and what does his power mean for the world?
Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi…some of the leaders radically reshaping today’s world. Who are they and what drives them? Join Hamish Macdonald as he delves into the lives and motives of eight leaders. From autocratic strongmen, to democratic internationalists, from left to right to far right, Take Me To Your Leader! examines the cultural, historical, geographical and personal origins underpinning the ambitions of the people on the world stage. Listen on the ABC listen app.