EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Sherlock star boost to NHS scrubs


Solving murders and harnessing his superpowers to fight evil appear to have inspired Benedict Cumberbatch to become a real-life hero.

I can reveal the Hollywood star — who starred in TV’s Sherlock and Marvel’s Doctor Strange — has swooped to the rescue of NHS frontline workers after donating thousands of pounds to a campaign headed by Prince Charles’s favourite shirt-maker, Emma Willis.

The Savile Row tailor launched her Style For Surgeons initiative in April, making protective scrubs (using luxurious Swiss cotton) for NHS hospital staff who faced a critical shortage due to the pandemic.

Benedict Cumberbatch, pictured with Sophie Hunter has donated thousands of pounds to an appeal headed by Prince Charles’ favourite shirt maker

Emma Willis , pictured, launched her Style For Surgeons initiative in April, making protective scrubs (using luxurious Swiss cotton) for NHS hospital staff who faced a critical shortage due to the pandemic

Emma Willis , pictured, launched her Style For Surgeons initiative in April, making protective scrubs (using luxurious Swiss cotton) for NHS hospital staff who faced a critical shortage due to the pandemic

They are aiming to raise £30,000 to cover the cost of the fabric for the special NHS scrubs

They are aiming to raise £30,000 to cover the cost of the fabric for the special NHS scrubs

‘It was so great. I got a call from him out of the blue saying: ‘It’s Benedict, I’m in New Zealand,’ ‘ Emma tells me. Cumberbatch was there filming Netflix drama The Power Of The Dog when lockdown happened.

‘He said: ‘I’ve heard about your Style For Surgeons and I would love to get involved. What can I do?’ I said: ‘We’re aiming to raise £30,000 and we’ve got £12,000 more to raise to cover the cost of the fabric, and we’re covering the cost of the making of them.’ He said: ‘Count it done,’ and transferred the rest of the money.’

Old Harrovian Cumberbatch, 44, developed a relationship with Emma after she started fitting him for shirts to wear not only on screen but also at his wedding to theatre director Sophie Hunter in 2015.

‘He obviously felt a real need to support,’ adds the designer. ‘We do ongoing work with him and there’s also something in the pipeline.

‘I think people, like Benedict, who use their influence and fame to support important causes are wonderful. They realise how they can help people through their fame in such a positive way.’

Emma was delighted to re-open her London shop last month in Jermyn Street, after temporarily closing in lockdown. ‘I very much hope there won’t be another lockdown,’ she sighs. ‘But if so, and there’s a demand again, then we’ll no doubt get making more scrubs and gowns.

‘It would feel like going backwards now. It was lovely to support, but I think we’ve got to keep the momentum and keep going forward now.’

Hear, hear!

The smart set is talking about… TV chef Lorraine’s style and beauty

Lorraine Pascale, pictured, is retraining as a psychologist to help people who may have faced similar trauma she experienced as a child

Lorraine Pascale, pictured, is retraining as a psychologist to help people who may have faced similar trauma she experienced as a child

She made her mark on the fashion world as the first black British woman to appear on the cover of American Elle, and then became one of television’s most glamorous chefs.

Now Lorraine Pascale reveals her next goal is to be a model mental health advocate. The 47-year-old from Hackney is re-training as a psychologist after her own traumatic childhood inspired her to help others.

‘I grew up in the foster care system. I was fostered and adopted and fostered again,’ she says. ‘At the time, I didn’t realise I was struggling. It was from those beginnings of emotional neglect and abuse and an alcoholic parent that now I’m grateful I went through because I can help others. Especially complex trauma. I really want to give back all the things that I’ve learned.’

Lorraine, who lives in West London with businessman Dennis O’Brien, adds her new career path has even helped her relationship with her 24-year-old daughter, Charlie’s Angels star Ella Balinska, from her marriage to aristocrat Count Kaz Balinski-Jundzill. ‘I’ve apologised to her if I wasn’t as emotionally available and aware back then,’ says Lorraine.

Emma’s a real drama queen!

Dame Emma Thompson has revealed the extent of her new drinking habits .

‘I have not had a night off the booze since lockdown started,’ admits the 61-year-old.

‘My rule is that if you drink too much you feel terrible the next day. Which is not a rule, it is an observation.’

The Love Actually star and her husband, fellow actor Greg Wise, left their post‑Brexit home in Venice earlier this year to self-isolate in Scotland with her mother.

Emma Thompson, pictured, said she has not had a night off the booze since lockdown started

Emma Thompson, pictured, said she has not had a night off the booze since lockdown started

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