The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh will be shut down if actor Mel Smith flouts Scotland's smoking ban, its director has been told. The comedian, who is playing Winston Churchill in a show at the Edinburgh Fringe, is said to be planning to smoke during a performance on Monday. The actor recently vowed to continue to ignore the ban at the Fringe festival.
Venue director William Burdett Coutts said he was in an "extremely serious situation". He said he has also been told he will lose his Fringe licence for good if the actor smokes during his performance.Mr Burdett Coutts said: "We have just been visited by the chief enforcement officer who has told me if Mel Smith smokes on stage then I will be given a £1,000 fine and he will shut down the entire premises. He said he would also never give me a licence again so I'm in an extremely serious situation
They wouldn't get irony if they were hit round the head with a Morphy Richards Jet Steam on the Linen setting would they? You can wave your willy about on stage as much as you like but a play about Churchill, who knew a thing or two about freedom, has to be censored..
"Who knows, maybe I'll light it [the cigar]. Maybe I won't. But maybe I will. I mean, what are they going to do to me? Are they going to extradite me? " Smith, who has ruled out using a fake cigar, added: "I will not have people protecting me from myself. That's the whole problem with this country.
"I've often wondered what the Scottish Parliament does. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to find out. The thing I would like to say about it is that it would have delighted Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler, as you know, was anti-smoking. You couldn't smoke at Adolf Hitler's dining table, so he'd be pleased, wouldn't he? Congratulations Scotland."