A plethora of famous faces showed themselves in Canary Wharf as Whoopi Goldberg was named Boisdale Woman Of The Year. The actor, comedian, presenter and singer stopped by the Cabot Square restaurant on Friday, February 10, to be handed the inaugural accolade by singers JB Gill , formerly of JLS, and Rebecca Ferguson .
Across the pond for a gig at the London Palladium and an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, her appearance at the exuberant Wharf dinner drew the likes of boxer Joe Joyce, journalist Andrew Marr, entrepreneur and restaurateur Levi Roots and singer Egypt, who were also treated to a performance by Acton-based choir Sing Gospel and Ray Charles audio facsimile Jeremy Sassoon.
Boisdale owner Ranald Macdonald said: “We have honoured many people on the Boisdale stage , although in recent years we’ve restricted our accolades to largely male spheres of influence.
“I think we have a reputation as being quite a masculine place thanks to the whisky and cigars.
“But we all know that the world would be a better place if there were more women in charge
“The result would undoubtedly be greater global humanity, compassion and tolerance.
“We at Boisdale consider ourselves libertarian and it’s interesting to note we are three-to-one managed by women.
“That is perhaps why there’s greater global humanity, compassion and tolerance to be found here.
“In our view the winner of this award personifies the qualities of intellectual fortitude, kindness, creativity and humour that define the best of our fragile civilisation.”
Co-presenter of the award, JB Gill has moved away from singing to farm turkeys and aspires to rear venison and supply it to Boisdale.
He said: “Whoopi is one of the few people to have won an Emmy, an Oscar, a Grammy and a Tony award.
“It’s an incredible honour to share the room with her.
“Her most important role in recent years has been as a presenter and moderator on talk show The View but that’s without mentioning the humanitarian and charity work she does.”
Fellow X Factor veteran Rebecca Ferguson added: “In life there are so many things that are not real, but one of the things I love Whoopi Goldberg for is how real she is.
“When you’re in the presence of a superstar you can feel nervous but she’s so down to earth it’s like sitting with a friend
“She’s a legend. We’ve all been inspired by her.
“I remember meeting her America before I gave a performance on The View
“Out of all the celebrities I’ve met, Whoopi Goldberg is the most humble.
“She knocked on the door of my dressing room. She didn’t have to, but she wished me well and congratulated me and that really stood out to me.
“I think she’s such a blessing to the world.”
Collecting the award, Whoopi said: “I want to say firstly that Rebeccca is special. She sticks to her guns and doesn’t take any bull from anybody.
“That’s a great sign of womanhood moving forward in a positive direction
“You know what? I love coming here.
“Sometimes you don’t know if what you’re thinking and what you’re talking about means anything to folks and it’s nice to be thought of as someone’s woman of the year
“It’s nice to hear it and it’s nice to feel it. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.
“I know it’s kind of dopey but it means the world. It just f*****g means a lot.
“Boisdale is a great place, it just has a lot of good energy.”
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