The real story behind Benedict Cumberbatch’s U2 photobomb

The Sherlock actor blamed host Ellen DeGeneres for "plying everyone with vodka on the red carpet" at this year's Oscars

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I pulled an all-nighter to cover the Oscars 2014 for RadioTimes.com so when – in the wee hours – photos emerged of a suited and booted Benedict Cumberbatch leaping goofily behind U2, I thought I might be dreaming. Or hallucinating on a dangerous mix of coffee, chocolate and energy bars. 

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I wasn’t. And as we reported the lucky recipients of this year’s golden statuettes, all anyone cared about was this… 

Now, six months on, Cumberbatch has gone and explained what induced him to photobomb the unsuspecting Bono & co. “Yes, I photobombed U2!” he told Time Out magazine. “But that was all Ellen DeGeneres’ fault because she plied everyone with vodka on the red carpet.

“Her team was handing out these miniatures. A friend really wanted me to get a photo with U2. So I just saw the opportunity and I’ve never felt an impulse like it.

“I spotted them all standing around and I thought, ‘Perfect!’ It wasn’t preordained or anything. I just did it.” 

The Sherlock actor went on to enjoy a good old knees up as he rubbed shoulders with Hollywood – and his 12 Years a Slave co-stars – on the film industry’s biggest night of the year. 

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“Oh god, I had a ridiculously good time. I was a little nervous, but then I got there and, like everything on screen, it was smaller than you expect it to be. I felt like I crashed the party a bit.”