The Fake Duke

In 2015 Alexander Wood made the national news for being convicted of fraud, after staying in over thirty elite hotels masquerading as the Duke of Marlborough. Chris Atkins met Alex in HMP Wandsworth, and they recently met up outside Claridge's in Mayfair where Alex revealed how he managed to con so many hotels. Alex is very long way from the stereotypical criminal, as he grew up in extreme as he was privilege as a child prodigy on the violin. In his teens he was performing for Royalty, touring the world with the very best orchestras and even played on a Harry Potter soundtrack. So how did a genius violist turn into an arch conman? And why did Alex's offending spiral after his conviction, so that he ended up perpetrating a £50 million banking fraud and ruining dozens of lives?You can read more about Alex and the other characters in this podcast in my new book, Time After Time, which is published on the 7th September Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Om Podcasten

Chris Atkins is a documentary maker who went to prison for tax fraud in 2016. He spent nine months in HMP Wandsworth, one of the most dangerous prisons in the UK, and has written about his surreal experiences in his bestselling book A Bit of a Stretch. After his release he interviewed 20 ex-prisoners about their time in jail, and turned the recordings into season 1 of this podcast. Their stories are shocking, uplifting, heartbreaking, hilarious, and often downright weird, taking you headfirst into the biggest prison crisis in history. It reveals a collapsing system that is failing victims and wider society, and reveals how the human spirit can thrive in the darkest corners. Each episode is centred around a different theme, like Arrival, Family and Change, and was a huge hit on its release and the winner of the Criminal Justice Alliance media award in 2021.Over the last two years Chris has discovered a lot these contributors have gone back to prison, sometimes several times, and so he's written a follow up book Time After Time, asking why so many prisoners reoffend. It follows a colourful cast of criminals who just can't go straight, including Alex who spent nine months living in luxury hotels pretending to be the Duke of Marlborough, and Ed who has been recalled to prison four times since his release, despite not being convicted of any further offences. Season 2 of the podcast will dip into some of these crazy stories, as Chris interviews a fascinating cast of convicts as they cycle through our hideously dysfunctional justice system. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.