It's not very often the hippie sound of California Dreaming floats about Canary Wharf, but last night it was blasted out as ex-state governor Arnold Schwarzenegger won The Spectator’s Cigar Smoker of the Year award at Boisdale.
The Terminator star beat Boris Becker, Boris Johnson and Michael Caine to take the top spot. “As a body builder and as a movie star I’ve won a lot of awards,” Arnie said. “But this is the most… recent.” Cue riotous laughing in the packed out restaurant.
“Honestly, this means a lot to me. It’s not easy, when you’re me, to be a cigar smoker.” And he didn’t disappoint, telling the crowd: “I’ll be back.”
Hosting the award was Tom Parker Bowles, who spoke passionately about puffing cigars. “We’re here to celebrate the greatest thing that could happen to a humble leaf,” he told the crowd.
One winner was so inspired by the event, he took up cigars again for the first time in a long time. Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, runner up as cigar smoker of the year, was just lighting up when The Capitalist ran into him on the smoking terrace. “I gave up years ago, but I think everyone should be able to smoke a cigar if they want to,” he told us.
When was his last puff? “Well, this is the first cigar I’ve had in 10 years,” he said, with a cheeky smile.
No one at Boisdale would dare to argue with that, and he was in some noble company.