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Cumberbatch to get Variety Award

Screen star Benedict Cumberbatch is to be handed an honorary prize at a major movie event for his part in highlighting the UK's role in the international film industry.

The in-demand star - currently enjoying plaudits for his performance as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game - has been chosen to receive the Variety Award at next month's Moet British Independent Film Awards.

Past recipients have included Sir Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh, Daniel Craig and Dame Helen Mirren, while director Paul Greengrass took the honour in 2013.

Cumberbatch - who recently announced his engagement to Sophie Hunter - called it an "incredible honour" and said: "I am delighted to receive this prestigious award."

He already has a best actor nomination at the December 7 event for his role in The Imitation Game - one of four nominations for the film, including best picture.

Cumberbatch went on: "It is made even more special by the recognition of The Imitation Game in this year's nominations, a film I am very proud to be a part of."

The Sherlock star has recently been filming the BBC adaptation of Richard III and his other celebrated performances have included Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Atonement.

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