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Play now 10 mins

London Clubland

10 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 18 July 2012

Insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents, journalists and writers from around the world, presented by Pascale Harter.

Today: a special essay by Jake Wallis Simons on the private and gentlemen's clubs of London. They are an elitist and very exclusive world: still places for the social elite to huddle together, where - over a fine malt whiskey - you might bend the ear of government.

Jake Wallis Simons recently visited several of the capital's finest clubs, and learned a good deal about pleasure and privilege.

But is modern Britain really still as riddled with class distinction as its reputation and history might suggest? And what role are do clubs play in the endless ebb and flow of power and influence?

(Image: Illustration from around 1850 - A new member is introduced to a gentlemen's club, while others sit around drinking and talking amongst themselves. Credit: Getty Images)



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