All the times we fell in love with Benedict Cumberbatch
Call us CumberBitches / CumberPeople / members of the CumberCollective – we've done a recce and these are our favourite Cumberbatch moments through the ages
Since Cumberbatch's performance as Sherlock Holmes on the BBC, the world has fawned over the sexy Old Harrovian. But for us in Culture Whisper towers, it's really been his thoughtful and sensitive depiction of addict and sexual abuse survivor Patrick Melrose in the Patrick Melrose series on Sky that got our hearts beating fast and our cheeks flushing. The more we looked, the more we loved.
Call us CumberBitches / CumberPeople / members of the CumberCollective – we've done a recce and, although we're late to the party, these are our favourite Cumberbatch moments through the ages.
Cumberbatch as Patrick Melrose in episode one
Cumberbatch's protagonist in Sky's Patrick Melrose series was touching in its brutality and honesty. In the first episode, Cumberbatch infused the protagonist of the Edward St Aubyn novels with quick wit, cutting insights and hysterically funny fumbling hands, as the character careers wildly between London and New York in the fug of withdrawal and relapse, withdrawal and relapse. Throw awards at him, people.
That time he decided to #drawaline for violence against women
'I draw a line for every women in our industry who has been brave enough to speak out.' As part of UN Women National Committee United Kingdom, Cumberbatch was one of the male voices raised against violence against women. To add to his sexy feminist credentials, the man this month announced that he wouldn't be creatively involved in a new project where women weren't paid equally. Sigh, fawn, swoon. Whatta man, whatta man, whatta mighty good man.
That time he couldn't say 'penguin'
Every hunk has to have a flaw – and what a marvellous, very silly flaw this is. 'Pengwings' 'Penglings' 'Pengwing'. We could watch Cumberbatch mispronounce the word in this nature documentary on repeat, forever.
When he was all sweet and charming in The Child in Time
Our TV schedule was embarrassingly packed with missing child dramas last year (what was that about?) but among the best was the heart-in-mouth awful The Child in Time, adapted from Ian McEwan's novel. We already knew Cumberbatch could do compulsive and frighteningly smart from Sherlock, but finally we got to see the actor go all sensitive, earnest and hopeful as a young father whose daughter is taken from him. It was heart-melting stuff.
When he stood up for refugees at the end of Hamlet
He's been an outspoken campaigner for refugees for a long time, and although he possibly, maybe, just a little bit, apologised for 'some of what' he said, we loved him for his ad-lib appeal to the audience to help those affected by the refugee crises (which even included a cry of 'f*** the politicians').
He performed a miracle in making Dr Strange sexy
Cumberbatch knows how to make even the mildly ridiculous seem utterly miraculous (as we wrote in our review). Goatees, ugly leathery cloaks, paralysing arrogance and a nonsense storyline were on offer in Dr Strange – and yet Cumberbatch managed to make Dr Strange a debonair, intriguing character. We prefer him without the American accent though.
Did we mention episode three of Patrick Melrose?
If Cumberbatch's Patrick Melrose melted our hearts in the first episode, we were bought to our knees by the vulnerable, tender sweetness Cumberbatch gave to episode three 'in recovery' Patrick Melrose. We cannot recommend this series more strongly.
Every time he said anything in Cabin Pressure
Surely the funniest radio show in the world, Cabin Pressure by John Finnemore (he's the guy wearing red in the picture) had the Radio 4 audience weeping with laughter long before Cumberbatch became one of the most famous men on earth. By the time that season three aired, however, Sherlock had landed on the BBC and 'suddenly the audience was 90% female, mostly under 25 and they were queuing round the block. It was like Beatlemania.' Not a big surprise. We'd queue round the block too to listen to Cumberbatch's perfect comic timing live. Who doesn't love a funny man?
Last, not least, but very obviously... Sherlock
Long floppy hair, cheek bones sharp enough to dissect a body with (should you need to) and all that fast talking, quick thinking and saving the day action – of course the world fell in love with Benedict Cumberbatch when he helmed the BBC's modernised adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes series. Although it was Cumberbatch's latest performance on Sky Atlantic that tipped us over the edge into fully fledged fandom, he was still electrifying in Sherlock. Sigh. Only a few more days until we get to watch him in the next Patrick Melrose on Sky. It can't come fast enough.