Even Benedict Cumberbatch had to “posh up” to play Patrick Melrose

And unlike his character he barely even indulges in alcohol - well, perhaps a small tequila during interviews...

Benedict Cumberbatch at the Patrick Melrose premiere in LA

Benedict Cumberbatch is used to being called posh. But the Sherlock star says he’s nothing compared to his new character, Patrick Melrose, and really had to “posh up” to reach the required upper-class echelons.

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“He’s properly posh,” Cumberbatch says in the new issue of Radio Times magazine. “I know everyone goes on about the posh thing with me – but despite looking it, I am not that class. That class is landed gentry. I had to posh up for this.”

Their relative social standing is not the only place where Cumberbatch and Melrose diverge. The anti-hero of the Sky drama, based on the books by Edward St Aubyn, is a whirlwind of drink- and drug-addiction but Cumberbatch – despite sipping a tequila during his interview with Caitlin Moran – describes his usual status as “near-sobriety”.

“No [I’ve never been addicted to anything],” says Cumberbatch. “I mean, I say that proverbially touching wood. But, no. I’ve had the opportunity; but even with the thing of having a glass of wine when the kids have gone to bed, I’m like, ‘I’m quite tired, and I don’t really fancy that glass of sugary alcohol,’ boringly.

“I’m very happy with near-sobriety. I have the odd blow-out, now and again – a big birthday, or crazy weekend at a festival – but I prefer yoga and meditation.”

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Read the full interview with Benedict Cumberbatch in the new issue of Radio Times, on sale now


Patrick Melrose will air on Sky Atlantic. Watch episode one of Patrick Melrose for free with RadioTimes.com