Did Benedict Cumberbatch call Downton Abbey 'clichéd'?

Aug 13, 2012

Tabloid tales: Sherlock star appears to criticise Downton; Jonah Hill takes photo of a placenta

HAS Benedict Cumberbatch taken a swipe at Downton Abbey for being clichéd and unsophisticated? The Sherlock star has been given the lead role in a new BBC period drama called Parade's End, which is set to rival ITV's Downton. Praising Parade's End, Cumberbatch said: "You rarely see a piece about this class of people that is this accurate, funny and pointed, but also three-dimensional. We're not serving purposes to make some clichéd comment about, 'Oh, isn't it awful the way there's this upstairs-downstairs divide'. It's a little bit more sophisticated." Despite Cumberbatch not actually naming Downton, The Sun claims he is already "talking down the competition".

Jonah Hill, star of Superbad and 21 Jump Street, was caught taking a photograph of a placenta after a woman gave birth in a New York park. Hill was stunned to see a woman go into labour and then be taken away by an ambulance after she had her baby. He tweeted: "Craziest thing I've ever seen. A woman [gave] birth next to me in a park. I took a picture of the placenta and TMZ caught me. Embarrassing." TMZ wrote: "We don't blame ya for taking pictures, J. It's not like that kinda stuff happens every day."

A theme park in China has been branded sexist for offering female visitors half-price tickets if they wear short skirts, reports the Daily Star. Staff members stand at the park's entrances to measure each woman's skirt before they are given a discount. If their skirt is shorter than 38cm and they are over 18, they can enter for a bargain £5.50 rather than the full price of £11. But bosses at Lemandi Park in south China have denied the policy aims to give ogling men cheap thrills and insisted they came up with the deal "to support the local textile industry".

A family of bears broke into a cabin and polished off 100 cans of lager, reports the Daily Mail. The mother bear and her three cubs broke in through a window and raided the cupboards for food and drink. It seems one of them had a bit too much and had to sleep it off in one of the beds, which was covered in beer, coke and tufts of fur. Even Borthen Nilsen and his family arrived at their house in northeast Norway to find their home completely destroyed. "The cabin has the stench of a right old piss up, trash and bears," said Borthen Nilsen. "They had a hell of a party in there."

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Major UK papers posted very long, thoughtful, interviews that Benedict Cumberbatch did to promote the upcoming Parade's End. Downton Abbey was briefly mentioned in one of them.

Secondary papers like the Sun selected one statement out of context & put it in the headlines. Now bottom feeders like this site regurgitate the Sun's manufactured controversy. Is "clarity brevity daily" your country's version of "fair & balanced"?