There aren’t many ‘moofies’ featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger that have a London connection, but we reckon the capital can be held directly responsible for the Austrian actor’s success.
In 1966, the 19-year-old bodybuilder made his first ever plane trip — to London, to compete in the Mr Universe Championship. Arnie lost, but judge Charles "Wag" Bennett saw potential and decided to train him into a winner. Bennett moved the big man into his family home in Forest Gate. Then, just like in some Sylvester Stallone film, the poor kid from the Austrian suburbs trained like a demon and the following year, took the title. After becoming the youngest ever champ, he went on to win again in London three more times.
More importantly though, it was in the East End, while training in Bennett’s gym, that Schwarzenegger learned his English. Which explains quite a lot — we’ve always suspected there was a Cockney twang to his unique line-readings.
Now you can hear those distinctive consonants and irritable vowels yourself as the actor is appearing on stage in London. On 15 November, Schwarzenegger takes part in a Q&A session with his fans, following an interview with another verbally-conspicuous East Ender, Leytonstone’s Jonathan Ross.
Whether Arnie will have, ahem, total recall of the various controversies in his life remains to be seen, but the actor seems to be up for a proper candid chin-wag. He said: “For once I won’t have a publicist saying, ‘Don’t ask him about his private life, don’t ask him how much money he makes, how much is in the bank,’ all that kind of stuff.”
An Evening with Arnold Schwarzenegger is on 15 November at 7.30pm in the Lancaster London Hotel (there is a second show in Leeds). You can also buy a ticket to meet the legend afterwards. For more information get your ass to the website or buy tickets here.