1 9 8 8 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
The staid, faded elegance of a gentleman’s club was the setting for this BBC sitcom from Richard Gordon, creator of the Doctor series of novels, films and TV series.
The fictitious Albany club, situated off Pall Mall, “up steps worn by five generations of gentlemanly leather”, was based upon various actual clubs and shared some of the problems of the real-life establishments: lack of funds, grumbling members and a decaying building.
A male preserve, the Albany deigned to doff its top hat towards the fairer sex, with mixed ”dinner evenings” (albeit with the ladies segregated in their own dining chamber) and female employees.
But this last, progressive move – brought in only after a woman was appointed Prime Minister – continued to raise the hackles of some of the older members, who hadn’t absolutely forgiven womankind since Suffragettes smashed the club’s windows in 1908.