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Sketching helps Cumberbatch relax

Screen star Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed he draws and spends time in nature to escape the "nonsense" of fame.

The Sherlock star, who has a global army of fans that jokingly refer to themselves as "Cumberbitches", said he tries to normalise being pursued by his devotees by spending time with friends and family as well as sketching.

But he bemoaned a lack of time for preventing him moving from pen and ink drawing to painting, saying canvas work is "a little while off".

The 38-year-old shattered the hopes of admirers around the world this week when he announced his engagement to theatre director Sophie Hunter.

Asked how he dealt with fans sleeping outside hotels where he stays, Cumberbatch told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "You try to normalise things as much as you can...

"The amount of speculation and the crossover between anyone whose public life and their professional and their private life is hard.

"I try to normalise it - friends and family, things that I've known longer than any of this nonsense, and nature, moving on from being observed in that manner."

He went on: "(And) a little bit of drawing. I do a little bit of pen and ink but canvas work has been a little while off, I need the space and a bit more time.

"But, yeah, I love sketching still, really love that."

Cumberbatch is enjoying a golden period in his career as one of Britain's most popular actors and he has been lauded for his role as codebreaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, with suggestions he could make it onto the Oscars shortlist for the role.

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