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Benedict Cumberbatch reads out hilarious letter from his mum Wanda Ventham at Wilderness festival

Cumberbatch's Sherlock co-star told a cheeky joke that had the audience laughing

Published: Thursday, 10th August 2017 at 1:51 pm

Benedict Cumberbatch has had an incredible Wilderness festival, firstly making his mother cry with a happy birthday video filmed at the site, and then receiving a thank you card as he performed on stage.


The Doctor Strange star appeared at the Oxfordshire arts festival to deliver a performance of Letters Live, which sees celebrities reading monologues based on real correspondence. And after the crowd sang Happy Birthday to fellow performer Mark Strong, Cumberbatch asked the audience to repeat the song for his mother Wanda Ventham (who played the titular character’s mother in Sherlock).

Cumberbatch told Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2: “They sang a rousing videoed message to my mum so I think I got some points there!”

Asked about her response, he said: “I think the words in the email from dad were something like, she was suitably overwhelmed and questions why it’s possible that I continually make her cry.”

Just to make the whole thing even more perfect, Wanda delivered a thank you card to her son during his own Letters Live set. After reading a letter by Iggy Pop, he was handed the cheeky letter from Wanda.

It read:

“Dear Benedict,

Thank you so much for the Happy Birthday video you filmed last night. It was a Mummy’s perfect birthday gift.

I hope the festival is wonderful. Love to everyone there.

Your mum,


P.S. Don’t go down to the valley again tonight, you naughty boy”

And just in case you didn't get it: the valley is a reference to Wilderness festival’s late-night clubbing area, which runs until 4am.

Sorry Benedict, looks like you've been out-sassed.


You can hear highlights from the Wilderness festival, including Cumberbatch's full performance on the BBC website


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