Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Mel Smith, of Smith and Jones and Not the Nine O’Clock News fame is currently playing Churchill in a play currently being put on at the Edinburgh Festival. Rather than puff away ineffectually on a stage cigar, Smith has decided to smoke the real thing whilst on stage, apparently in contravention of the Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005.

Smith, who is a cigar smoker off-stage, criticised the law which bans smoking in public spaces in his normal politically correct style – “It would have delighted Adolf Hitler. Congratulations, Scotland.”

He suggested that the audience could be warned before the show – “A third of a Romeo y Julieta will be smoked during this performance. If you find that offensive, F**k off.”

Apparently, although Edinburgh City Council had previously warned the Assembly Rooms, where the play is being performed, that they faced a fine of up to £5,000, as well as losing their Entertainment licence, no-one from the City Council was available for comment.



Anonymous said...

I heard about this on the Today Programme yesterday morning (they said he hadn't decided whether to light up, but might) and again yesterday evening on PM.

The story on PM was different. They said he had not lit the cigar and everyone was very relieved as the venue would not now be losing its license.

The spokesperson for Edinburgh City Council was rather irritating, pointing out that, in order to lend verisimilitude to a murder scene, it was not necessary actually to commit murder. Why light the cigar at all? It's all make believe, right?

To me that misses the point but in any case, so far as I am aware, Mel yas yet to break the law regarding smoking in enclosed public spaces in Scotland.

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