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Benedict Cumberbatch for Patrick Melrose - Winner's Acceptance Speech, Leading Actor, Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards in 2019

12 May 2019

Winner's acceptance speech by Benedict Cumberbatch for Patrick Melrose in the Leading Actor category

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH:  Oh, gosh.  I think I'm going to fall over.  I breathe rarefied air, but I'm very used to being a bridesmaid, not the bride.

Thank you, BAFTA, for this, and I breathe rarefied air because it's a gift, what we get to do as storytellers.  It's even more of a gift when it's material as refined as this series penned by David and directed by Ed Berger, produced by Rachael and Michael and my best friend, Adam Ackland, with a crew to die for and a cast -- Jennifer, Jason, Lee, Jessica, Anna, and everybody, Rudy -- I'm going to forget the names now, but I'll keep it short because I think everybody probably does need to go to the bathroom by now.

But we all stand on one man's shareholders, an extraordinary human being, the greatest gift and reward of which is being able to say I'm his friend, the man who wrote the five novels that this was based on, whose life mirrored much of what Patrick Melrose endured in the series and in the books.  That's Edward St Aubyn.  Thank you for your wit, your courage, an extraordinary thing to try and mirror and achieve, and to bring home a story of salvation and great kindness, which is what you embody, my friend.  So this is for you.

I do have to thank one other person who is very important in my world, which is my wife, Sophie, and our family.  Yeah, you're my rock.  I had to go pretty weird for this one.  There were some things I had to do and it was very nice to come home and feel stable again.  

And my agent, John Grant, for putting up with me, when I'm very instable.  He will have to give me a drink after this.  Everybody who works at Conway van Gelder.  Elaine, obviously, I have to mention you.  

Karen Hartley-Thomas, you can come back into the country now.  She left because she couldn't bear to see me not winning.  It's all right.  I've got one, and I'm going to bring it home.  

Thank you very much, everybody.  Goodnight.