The death of Franco & Spain’s transition to democracy with William Chislett

In this episode we look at a fascinating and monumental period in Spanish history – The death of Franco in 1975 and Spain’s transition to democracy that followed in the late 1970s.
In this part one of a two part podcast I had the great pleasure of talking to writer and journalist William Chislett.

William is a former Madrid correspondent for the UK´s Times newspaper. William was based in Madrid and reported first-hand on Spain’s transition to democracy from 1975-1978. He even interviewed King Juan Carlos. He subsequently worked for the Financial Times based in Mexico covering Central America, before returning to the Spanish capital in 1986, where he still lives.

In the interview William reflects on what life was like in Spain following the death of Franco, what the atmosphere was like and talks us through the key developments that lead to the 1977 elections – the first free elections held in Spain since 1936 – and the enactment of Spain´s 1978 constitution.

William has written numerous books on Spain including, Spain – What Everyone Needs to Know and he writes a monthly article called Inside Spain – A lively look at Spanish current affairs – for the Elcano Royal Institute think tank. Well worth reading if you´re interested in Spanish politics.

William´s work can be found at