Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch reveals his terrifying kidnap ordeal

by Lynn Connolly

Benedict Cumberbatch, the star of BBC’s hit detective drama Sherlock, has revealed to the Daily Star how he managed to keep a cool head to get out of a potentially fatal hostage situation while he was filming in South Africa.

The terrifying ordeal began while Benedict was filming mini-series, To The Ends Of The Earth, near Mozambique.

During a break in shooting, he and two friends went scuba diving, however, they were ‘carjacked’ on their way back to their hotel after stopping at the roadside to replace a flat tyre.

Benedict explained, “The three of us were trying to change the tyre. These six men appeared suddenly from the eucalyptus plantation.

“They said: ‘Put your hands on your head, don’t look at us,’ and were frisking us for drugs, money, weapons. Then they bundled us into the car.”

The gang then drove off with the petrified trio held hostage.

Benedict went on, “I could see the headlight beams bumping over the dirt track and I thought of shallow graves…

“By the end of the night I was tied up next to Denise.

“They pulled over, pulled the stuff out of the car. They dragged me up and put me in the boot of the car.

“But I argued my way out. I said: ‘If you leave me in here, it’s not the lack of air, it’s the small space. There’s a problem with my heart and my brain.’

“I just tried to explain to them: ‘I will die, possibly have a fit, and it will be a problem for you. I will be a dead Englishman in your car. Not good.’

“They shut the boot and had an argument, and then pulled me out.

“So I kind of thank God I had the presence of mind to give them the idea that it would be better to keep me alive. And the other two hadn’t been harmed.”

All three were then tied up before the gang drove away.

Benedict added, “It taught me that you come into this world as you leave it, on your own.

“It’s made me want to live a life slightly less ordinary.”

Yikes! If that had happened to me, I would be craving a life distinctly more ordinary!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.