Cumberbatch read with gusto the correspondence between RAF officer Chris Barker and Bessie Moore during the Second World War. “I want you,” he repeated several times. Cue titters from the audience. However, the letter contained the proviso: “I would prefer not to get married”.
Fellow readers were Gillian Anderson and Nick Cave. Later there was an auction and the book signed by Cumberbatch & Co went for £5,000. Trying to encourage the audience, the presenter shouted: “You will get Benedict Cumberbatch’s DNA — he is currently sweating into the book. Look at him. You can grow your own Benedict Cumberbatch.” To add value, Camberbatch and Anderson both licked the book.