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Cumberbatch back as Rumpole of the Bailey

BENEDICT Cumberbatch has revived his role as the fictional barrister Rumpole Of The Bailey for BBC Radio 4.

The Sherlock star slotted the recordings of the stories, by late author John Mortimer, into his busy filming schedule last month.

The 37-year-old recorded two new episodes alongside Jasmine Hyde, who plays his wife Hilda, with the stories to be broadcast next week.

The tales, which also feature Nigel Anthony and Stephen Critchlow, are set in 1964 when Rumpole's new pupil, Phyllida Trant, causes trouble.

The claret-drinking lawyer is given the task of defending a man accused of blackmail, but Trant risks a charge of contempt of court by helping her journalist friend publish the name of the victim.

In another episode, Rumpole represents a defendant accused of attempted murder and also leaves his wife.

Rumpole And The Old Boy Net will be broadcast by Radio 4 on Thursday at 2.15pm, with Rumpole And The Sleeping Partners on the next day.


Meanwhile, Cumberbatch has taken on a new muppet sidekick as he shows off his deductive powers to viewers of Sesame Street by counting fruit.

The actor stars as a guest in a video with characters from the long-running children's series in which he enlists the help of show regular Count Von Count to solve a problem.

Cumberbatch is set a "brain-bending challenge" to demonstrate his skills to viewers of the programme.

He is given his task by a furry character called Murray-arty who announces, "I am your arch nemesis", and asks him to work out whether there are more oranges or apples in front of him. The film has been posted on YouTube.