Benedict Cumberbatch turned down role in ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ film

‘He was busy for the next five-and-a-half years’ says Jennifer Saunders

Benedict Cumberbatch turned down a cameo in the new Absolutely Fabulous movie, Jennifer Saunders has revealed.

In a diary about the film published in The Daily Telegraph, show creator Saunders said that she and director Mandie Fletcher made a list of actors to approach for cameos in October 2015.

Saunders wrote: “We were throwing out names like Benedict Cumberbatch. It turns out he’s busy for the next five-and-a-half years. What is it with actors? We’re offering tiny, tiny, tiny roles that will take up miniscule amounts of time and it’s ‘Oh no, sorry, I’m busy doing films’ or ‘So sorry, I’m busy going around the world with all my actor friends for the next two years’ or a simple ‘I’m dead’.”

The film, which opens on Friday (July 1), has cameos from Jon Hamm, Rebel Wilson, Graham Norton, Joan Collins, La Roux, Kathy Burke, Mark Gatiss, Alexa Chung, Barry Humphries, Sadie Frost, Kate Moss, Lulu, Jerry Hall, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Alesha Dixon, Daisy Lowe, Stella McCartney, Christopher Biggins, Abbey Clancy, Bruno Tonioli, Tinie Tempah, Ozwald Boateng, Kelly Hoppen, Nick Grimshaw, Judith Chalmers, Kirsty Wark, Alex Jones, Janette Krankie, Brix Smith-Start, Anya Hindmarch, Pam Hogg and Jeremy Paxman.

Although Cumberbatch doesn’t appear in the film, his actress mother Wanda Ventham plays Violet in the spin-off of the BBC1 sitcom. Ventham appeared in horror films including The Blood Beast Terror and Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter as well as three Doctor Who stories in 1967, 1977 and 1987.