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Benedict Cumberbatch scoops top BAFTA for Sherlock

Benedict Cumberbatch scooped one of the top television BAFTA awards of the night for his role as Sherlock Holmes - the only one voted for by the public.

Benedict Cumberbatch scoops top BAFTA for Sherlock Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

But the Hollywood actor was not at the ceremony to collect the award, and instead was said to be looking after his new wife who is heavily pregnant.

The gong goes some way to make up for his Oscar disappointment earlier this year, when he was beaten to best actor by Eddie Redmayne.

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Benedict Cumberbatch 'not expecting' to win award

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who has been nominated for the Bafta leading actor award has told ITV News he does not expect to win because it is "Eddie Redmayne's year".

Cumberbatch, who is attending his first ever Bafta ceremony, is up against Redmayne, Ralph Fiennes, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Keaton.

Cumberbatch's pardon plea to William and Kate

Benedict Cumberbatch has urged the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to help convince the government to pardon tens of thousands of gay men convicted under outdated indecency laws.

Benedict Cumberbatch has joined the campaign to pardon gay men Credit: Reuters

The film star, who has been nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of gay scientist Alan Turing, added his name to an open letter in The Guardian calling for action. Stephen Fry and gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell are also leading members of the campaign.

Cumberbatch played Turing, the pioneering computer scientist who helped crack the Enigma code, in the film Imitation Game. Turing was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 for being gay, and committed suicide two years later.

Campaigners are calling for the Royal Family to act and convince the Government to pardon 49,000 men who were convicted under the law.

"The UK's homophobic laws made the lives of generations of gay and bisexual men intolerable," the letter reads.

"It is up to young leaders of today including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to acknowledge this mark on our history and not allow it to stand.

"We call upon Her Majesty's Government to begin a discussion about the possibility of a pardoning all the men, alive or deceased, who like Alan Turing, were convicted."

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