Benedict Cumberbatch punched a journalist to defend Keira Knightley’s honour

News of the Sherlock star's strong reaction to one reporter's uncouth remark comes after his freak spate of sign holding last year

He is known for his dislike of the press.

But Benedict Cumberbatch took his disapproval of one journalist’s comment about friend Keira Knightley to a new level when he punched him on the arm.

Speaking about the incident to Elle magazine, Knightley recalled: "When I saw him [Benedict] again, I said, 'Did you punch a journalist?' and he was like, 'I f***ing did.' Everybody needs a friend like that."

Film critic Mark Kermode has since tweeted to claim that he was the on the receiving end of the punch Knightley was talking about.

He told the Metro in 2009: "An actor very gently punched me on air for saying something about Keira Knightley. I called her Ikea Knightley as her acting was so wooden."

And she’ll most likely be awarded the same level of protection as the pair take to the promotional trail for their new film, the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, out on 14 November, too.

Cumberbatch – heard earlier reading the 8am news from D-Day in 1944 on BBC Radio 4 – has enjoyed an interested relationship with the press over the years.

 

Most famously, he went through a freak spate of sign-holding in protest to photographers attempting to snap him on the set of Sherlock in 2013.

"Go photograph Egypt and show the world something important," one hand-written paper note, captured by the waiting pap, read.

As if suddenly realising that using the media is a great way to get messages out to the general public, he went on a sign rampage again, this time at an airport in a vain attempt to appeal to  Prime Minister David Cameron.

His messily scrawled note read: "Questions we have a right to ask in a democracy."

This one was, however, a little too cryptic to have any deep and lasting impact on the hearts and minds of the general public, who weren’t sure quite what he was referring to.

Legend has it that he was commenting on the detention of David Miranda –  the partner of the Guardian journalist who broke stories of mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency – at Heathrow Airport, though no one could confirm otherwise.

So he released a four-page hand-written message to explain himself.

"Hard drives smashed, journalists detained at airports… Democracy?" page one of four read.

"Prior restraint. Is this the erosion of civil liberties winning the war on terror…?" the second said.

The third was largely obscured by a man’s head, but was later confirmed to read: "What do they not want you to know? And how did they get to know it? Does the exposure of their techniques cause a threat to our security or does it just cause them embarrassment...?" No idea what happened to the fourth.

In a less cerebral moment, Cumberbatch was recently seen posing with paper napkin over his face as he attempted to eat lunch with Dakota Johnson undisturbed by the waiting paparazzi:

No, we’re not quite sure what the message there was either. But he obviously hates the attention. Which is why he did this at the Oscars:

Read More: Cumberbatch 'First Sexy Sherlock Holmes' says China
Benedict Cumberbatch's aerial Oscars photobomb goes viral
GAY CLUB SCENE CUT FROM SHERLOCK SERIES THREE
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits