Benedict Cumberbatch on Cumberbitches, photobombs and baby names

The Sherlock star appeared on Ellen and found himself considering unusual appellations for Cumberbatch junior

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Benedict Cumberbatch was a guest on American comedian Ellen DeGeneres’ eponymous NBC chat show this week – and of course photobombs and babies were on the agenda.

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First though, after a little prompting, the Sherlock and Imitation Game star admitted that his fans like to call themselves Cumberbitches.

“It’s like trying to squeeze a confession out of me getting me to actually say that word,” he said, “because I squirm a little bit about it.”

Initially, he tried to persuade the Cumberbitches to choose a more flattering moniker, he explained.

“I went ‘ladies, this is wonderful, I’m very flattered, but has this not set feminism back a little bit? Empower yourself if you’re going to get silly about a guy with a little more self-regard.’ Then they were very sweet and they wrote back to me saying: ‘we didn’t mean any harm to feminism. We’re just having a bit of fun with your name.'”

DeGeneres next asked about his second foray into photobombing at Sunday’s Golden Globes Awards (below), and Cumberbatch revealed it wasn’t planned.

“Somebody asked me on the red carpet [whether I was planning another photobomb] and I said ‘no, that’s never going to happen again’. And then Meryl Streep and someone from North Korea stood right in front of me for about five minutes trying to take a photograph. I thought ‘this is ridiculous’ so I just jumped up and did it again.” 

Finally, following last week’s news that the actor’s fiancée Sophie Hunter is expecting a child, DeGeneres proffered ideas for baby names that would suit his unusual surname: Engelbert, Harpsichord and Glockenspiel. Cumberbatch didn’t seem especially taken with any of them but agreed that the second could be used for either sex whereas the latter was a boy’s name – “a German boy in lederhosen maybe”.

Yet the name the actor seemed least impressed with her final proposal: Carl.

“I’m not getting [the joke],” he grimaced.

Commiserations to all the Carls out there. At least DeGeneres’ suggestions will make the bookies’ lists of favourites more interesting.

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Watch the clip of Benedict Cumberbatch on Ellen here