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The cast of Neverwhere send Neil Gaiman a nice message (taken from Neil's blog)
The cast of Neverwhere send Neil Gaiman a nice message (taken from Neil’s blog)

What’s that expression about hay and sunshine? Someone needs to take Benedict Cumberbatch aside and point to the overstuffed barn behind him, and maybe explain that he’s definitely all set for winter now.

So, not content with signing up to appear in eggity-flumpteen new projects over the last few days, and coming fresh from the recording of the BBC adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere (that’s him on the left, above, with James McAvoy, Anthony Head and the rest of the cast, sending the author a hello from the recording), now he’s joining the judging panel of this year’s BAFTA Rising Star award.

The award is designed to shine a light on new film talents, and has been given to a few names that you may recognise today, including Tom Hardy, Kristen Stewart, and Benedict’s Neverwhere mucker James McAvoy. All Benedict has to do – alongside his fellow judges, including the director Kevin McDonald and British film critic Mark Kermode – is select five nominees from a massive pile of DVDs and downloads. Something he DEFINITELY has lots of time to do these days.

In a press release for the award, Benedict said: “Judging by the quality of previous nominees and winners it’s often the beginning of an exciting step-up of profile and opportunity. It’s a great platform for young actors and actresses to shine and I’m thrilled to be on board.”

The nominess will be announced on January 7, with the final winner being announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards on February 10.

And Benedict had some words of encouragement for all aspiring actors:  “Don’t lose your sense of humour, perspective or hope. What will be will be.”

He went on to suggest that anyone wanting to make a career should  “keep being inquisitive and hard-working.”

Translation: “when you’re hot, say yes to everything. EVERYTHING I TELL YOU!”

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By Fraser McAlpine