Appearing on the show on Thursday (May 5), a listener called in to highlight how she couldn’t “understand Ariana Grande when she sings”.
In response, Cumberbatch joked: “I know what you mean, and I feel my 45 years sometimes when I listen to a song going, ‘Yeah, I wonder if there’s a lyric sheet I can get online because I can’t understand a word.”
To test the theory, a snippet from Grande’s track ‘Problem’ was played on the show, where she sings, “I should be wiser, and realise that I’ve got”.
Asked to repeat the lyrics, Cumberbatch replied: “Something about a cat in an elevator?”
James then played the chorus from track ‘Positions’ where Grande sings, “I’m in the Olympics, way I’m jumping through hoops.” In response, Cumberbatch said: “Poking through holes?”
The actor however is a fan of Grande’s music, adding: “She is just an extraordinary, extraordinary vocal artist. Someone played me her music and I’m a huge, huge fan. I think she’s got such raw talent.”
Cumberbatch is currently promoting Marvel film Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, where he stars alongside Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams.
In a three-star review, NME wrote: “Somehow, Sam Raimi – with strong, grounded turns from Cumberbatch and Olsen – just about keeps the film from running too far off the rails. There’s a thin line between fan-service and… Space Jam 2.
“Though Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is a franchise eating itself, it’s a meta-meal that’s mostly fun, scary, visually bombastic and mad. Really mad.”