Margaret Thatcher didn't just hang out with Michael Winner and Kenny Everett, you know. Oh no.

She was also a firm friend to many strong leaders - more commonly known as 'dictators' - but sadly, none of them will be able to attend her funeral on Wednesday. Mainly because they've passed away - occasionally at the hands of their own people - or in the case of one, they're in prison.

Want to know who they are? Click through our rogues' gallery below. And if you'd like to know more, we recommend reading this and this.

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  • Augusto Pinochet

    To you, he's the brutal Chilean dictator who ran a regime of torture and terror. To Margaret Thatcher, he was a "staunch, true friend". Aww!

  • King Fahd of Saudi Arabia

    Human rights? Pah! Thatcher declared herself "a great admirer of Saudi Arabia and the leadership of King Fahd" and the deal she struck with the Saudis was the largest ever UK arms contract with a foreign customer. Kerching!

  • General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq

    Yes, it's everyone's favourite Pakistani military dictator! Thatcher praised his "courage and skill" and once made a toast to his "health and happiness". Mainly because the Communists didn't.

  • Muammar Gaddafi

    Thatcher liked the Libyan dictator so much, she sent him a Christmas card. No word on whether he sent her one back.

  • Saddam Hussein

    The same year, Thatcher also sent a Christmas card to Saddam Hussein. Well, her government <em>was</em> sending equipment and weapons to Iraq to help him fight Iran. (And his own people. Oops!)

  • P.W. Botha

    No one else in the Commonwealth wanted to be friends with South Africa's President Botha - but Thatcher did! She invited him over - to Chequers, no less - in 1984. Better him than that "terrorist" Mandela, eh?!

  • General Suharto

    The ruthless Indonesian dictator who masterminded the bloody occupation of East Timor gets mixed reviews. No stars from the New York Times ("One of the most brutal and corrupt of the 20th century"), but five stars from Thatcher ("We are clearly the best of friends").

  • Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

    Aka the Shah of Iran. Until he was toppled by his own people in 1979, of course. Thatcher wanted the UK to offer sanctuary to her "firm and helpful friend" - but sadly, she was overruled. Spoilsports!

  • Hosni Mubarak

    What's not to like about the Egyptian dictator's "leadership", "courage" and "incredible energy" (Thatcher's words, not ours)? "You are among our very favourite visitors," she once told him and his wife. Bless. We're sure Mubarak would attend her funeral if he wasn't serving life imprisonment.

(All images: Press Association)