Brits with Birthdays: Felicitations Are Due Benedict Cumberbatch, and Others

Let's hope it's a knees up kind of birthday for Benedict!! (Tumblr)

Let’s hope it’s a knees-up kind of birthday for Benedict!! (Tumblr)

Busy, busy Benedict Cumberbatch needs to make time in his busy schedule this Friday, July 19, to mark his 37th birthday.

Last year, to honor the Sherlock star for his birthday, the fan web site Cumberbatchweb urged the actor’s acolytes to donate the money they would have otherwise spent on cards or gifts for their idol to the Teenage Cancer Trust, a U.K. charity that helps young people diagnosed with cancer. More than £10,000 ($15,100) was raised.

This year, Cumberbatchweb says Cumberbatch himself has designated Myeloma UK, which provides funds for research and support for those diagnosed with the rare form of cancer, as his charity of choice for donations from birthday well-wishers. Supporters are urged to leave birthday messages for Cumberbatch when they donate.

Cumberbatch fans–sometimes jokingly known as Cumberbitches if female and particularly fervent–are such a devoted lot that at least three dozen have posted personal birthday greetings for the actor on YouTube. Here’s a typical one, which went up just last month, from adolescent fan Hannah Moat, who announces that she’s from Essex and wishes Cumberbatch an awesome day:

Cumberbatch is just one of more than a dozen famous Brits celebrating birthdays this week.  Here’s a list of others who will be blowing out candles today through next Sunday:

July 15:  Record producer Trevor Horn, who has worked with such artists as Seal, Paul McCarthy, Cher, Rod Stewart, Pet Shop Boys, Robbie Williams and many more, turns 64. As a performer and songwriter, he has toured and recorded with The Buggles, Yes and Art of Noise.

July 16: Fatboy Slim, the rapper, musician, DJ and record producer who was born Quentin Leo Cook but is better known as Norman Cook, reaches the half century mark.  He performed “Right Here, Right Now” and “The Rockefeller Skank” last summer at the closing ceremony for the London Olympics.

Fatboy Slim at the Olympics:

July 17:  Camilla Parker Bowles, the wife of Prince Charles, celebrates her 66thbirthday. She wed the current heir to the British throne in 2005. Producer Mark Burnett, who brought reality TV to American shores, first with Survivor in 2000 and subsequently with dozens more shows, including The Voice, The Apprentice and Shark Tank, turns 53.<

July 18:  Entrepreneur and adventurer Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways and numerous other businesses, marks his 63rd natal day. And controversial singer M.I.A. (born Mathangi Arulpragasam), who famously flipped the bird while performing alongside Madonna during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2012, turns 38.

July 19:  In addition to Cumberbatch, this is the 66th birthday of singer-songwriter Brian May, who as a member of Queen gave the world “We Will Rock You.” He earned a PhD in astrophysics in 2007, making him the rocket scientist of rockers. Also celebrating a birthday is Helen Skelton, a presenter on BBC’s popular Blue Peter children’s show, who turns 30.

July 20:  Venerable Diana Rigg, the actress equally accomplished as sexy, swinging ‘60s secret agent Emma Peel on TV’s The Avengers (1965-68) and in classical roles on stage, turns 75. She won over a whole new generation of fans with her appearance this past season as Lady Olenna Tyrell on HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Diana Rigg’s first appearance as Emma Peel:

July 21: Singer-actress Paloma Faith, who scored a Top Ten single in the U.K. last year with “Picking Up the Pieces” from her Fall to Grace album, turns 32. And Cat Stevens, the singer-songwriter who, after converting to Islam in 1977 changed his name to Yusef Islam, celebrates his 65th birthday.

Here’s wishing all of them a joyous birthday and year.

Whose birthday party would you most like to attend?