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4 Extra Debut. As rationing hits, London's well-heeled diners chomp their way through acorns, turnips and eels in a nod to the war effort. Read by Kenneth Cranham.

Kenneth Cranham reads Matthew Sweet's dark history of the scandalous life above and below stairs in London's grand hotels during the Second World War. While bombs rain down on London's East End, life in the capital's glittering hotels carries on regardless, with hotels like the Ritz, the Dorchester, the Savoy and Claridge's becoming mini Casablancas, where spies and con artists, traitors and royalty rub shoulders under the reinforced ceilings.

Today: as rationing hits, London's well-heeled diners chomp their way through acorns, turnips and eels in a nod to the war effort.

Reader: Kenneth Cranham
Producer: Justine Willett
Abridger: Viv Beeby
Writer: Matthew Sweet - presenter of 'Night Waves' and 'Freethinking' on BBC Radio 3, as well as several documentaries on BBC Four, and author of 'Inventing the Victorians' and 'Shepperton Babylon'.

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 13 Sep 2016 02:45

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