SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Why Sherlock’s Benedict is cutting ties with tycoon who gave him £1million 

Benedict Cumberbatch has been in business with Mokhzani Mahathir, the multi-millionaire son of the Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is known around the world for his controversial anti-Semitic views

Benedict Cumberbatch has been in business with Mokhzani Mahathir, the multi-millionaire son of the Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is known around the world for his controversial anti-Semitic views

Benedict Cumberbatch has been in business with Mokhzani Mahathir, the multi-millionaire son of the Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is known around the world for his controversial anti-Semitic views

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is so achingly right-on that he once stunned a London theatre audience with an on-stage rant against the ‘utter disgrace of the British Government’ for not doing more to help Syrian refugees.

The Old Harrovian actor has, however, been prepared to jump into bed with family members of very colourful figures in a bid to become a successful film producer.

I can disclose that Cumberbatch, who declared ‘f*** the politicians’ during his diatribe at the Barbican, has accepted almost £1 million in funding for his film company from the son of a controversial politician. He has been in business with Mokhzani Mahathir, the multi-millionaire son of the Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is known around the world for his controversial anti-Semitic views.

As recently as last October, Mokhzani’s father called Jews ‘hook-nosed’ and questioned whether six million had been killed in the Holocaust, claiming it was actually four million.

In another recent interview he said: ‘“Anti-Semitic” is a term that is invented to prevent people from criticising the Jews for doing wrong things.’

His son Mokhzani is a director of SunnyMarch Holdings, which Cumberbatch set up in 2014, and has invested £1 million in return for shares via his company Kencana Capital.

SunnyMarch is behind a number of projects including BBC’s The Child In Time, and Sky’s Patrick Melrose, both of which starred Cumberbatch.

Malaysia has long been criticised for its lack of human rights.

When I asked Cumberbatch if he had any concerns about accepting money from Mokhzani Mahathir, the actor told me: ‘I was shocked and disappointed to learn today of statements made by Dr Mahathir Mohamad articulating views that I find abhorrent and unacceptable.

‘Our company has never had dealings with Dr Mohamad — rather, our relationship has always been with his son Mokhzani Mahathir.

‘As a company, we have already begun the process of fully severing our relationship with Mr Mahathir so that he will no longer be involved with SunnyMarch.’

  • Interior designer Nicky Haslam rates Savile Row tailors as ‘the worst in the world’.‘I would never buy a suit there,’ he tells me. Instead he prefers to buy his whistles from London-based Sri Lankan outfitter Bespoke Attire. ‘Hanish Patel is brilliant,’ declares Haslam of his tailor, parading in what he calls a new ‘silvery Sinatra’ two-piece. ‘He comes to your house, measures you up, and delivers the suit within three weeks.’ Much like the service Nicky gives his own clients. 

Beaming Beatrice and beau Edo step out in New York

Princess Beatrice and her new boyfriend, Edoardo ‘Edo’ Mapelli Mozzi made their second public outing at the weekend just five days after their society debut at the National Portrait Gallery gala in London

Princess Beatrice and her new boyfriend, Edoardo ‘Edo’ Mapelli Mozzi made their second public outing at the weekend just five days after their society debut at the National Portrait Gallery gala in London

Princess Beatrice and her new boyfriend, Edoardo ‘Edo’ Mapelli Mozzi made their second public outing at the weekend just five days after their society debut at the National Portrait Gallery gala in London

Romance is blossoming between Princess Beatrice and her new boyfriend, Edoardo ‘Edo’ Mapelli Mozzi.

The couple made their second public outing at the weekend just five days after their society debut at the National Portrait Gallery gala in London, which was attended by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Duke of York’s 30-year-old daughter smiled brightly as she walked hand-in-hand in New York with the 35-year-old multi-millionaire property developer, who looked pleased as punch while giving a thumbs-up.

Beatrice, who sported £495 black suede Stuart Weitzman boots and a patterned grey dress, started dating Edo, who has a two-year-old son from a previous relationship, in early October. 

  • Congratulations to Dame Vera Lynn, who turns 102 tomorrow. The legendary Forces’ Sweetheart will be celebrating her big day with her daughter Ginny, son-in-law Tom and a few close friends at her Sussex home. ‘I’m looking forward to having a glass of bubbly, but I’m not sure whether they’ll be able to fit all 102 candles on my cake,’ jokes the young-at-heart Dame Vera.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley said:  'I've always had a little bit of acne

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley said:  'I've always had a little bit of acne

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley said:  ‘I’ve always had a little bit of acne

Model Rosie reveals her daily battle with spots

M&S lingerie model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley suffers to be beautiful. All eyes were on the 31-year-old Devonian blonde when she arrived at a party in LA at the weekend wearing a £7,755 Oscar de la Renta red pleated asymmetrical silk top and black trousers.

But her apparently flawless skin is a source of frustration. ‘I’ve always had a little bit of acne,’ admits the mother of one. ‘Sometimes I have to cut things out of my diet.

‘Currently I’m cutting out eggs and dairy, which is really boring because they’re all my favourite things.’

  • Having launched a range of eponymous steak houses, it is perhaps understandable that Marco Pierre White is no fan of vegans.

‘Shall I be brutally honest?’ asks the 57-year-old. ‘Vegans and vegetarians are not our favourites. Especially at a three-star [Michelin] level. It would be like me walking into a vegan restaurant and saying: “Can I have a steak please, cooked medium rare?”

‘Do you think I’d get one in a vegetarian restaurant? I don’t think so.’ MPW, who won three coveted Michelin stars by the age of 33, was once a vegan himself, but these days he seems less tolerant.

‘What people should do is book in advance and let you know they are a vegan and then you can spend the time creating something for them but they tend not to do that,’ he adds. ‘They tend to just turn up and tell you and expect you to have vegan dishes.’

Crumbs! Idris’ fiancée Sabrina gifts enjoys ‘Mrs Elba’ cake 

Luther star Idris Elba’s fiancee, 30-year-old model Sabrina Dhowre, went back to her roots for her hen party on the weekend

Luther star Idris Elba’s fiancee, 30-year-old model Sabrina Dhowre, went back to her roots for her hen party on the weekend

Luther star Idris Elba’s fiancee, 30-year-old model Sabrina Dhowre, went back to her roots for her hen party on the weekend

Luther star Idris Elba’s fiancee, Sabrina Dhowre, returned to her roots for her hen party over the weekend.

The 30-year-old model, who was born in the US, celebrated her impending nuptials at the five-star Amangiri resort in Utah where she and her friends tucked into a cake with the words ‘Future Mrs Elba’ written in icing.

Idris, who is tipped to be the next James Bond, proposed to Sabrina last February at a film screening in East London. ‘I was shocked by the proposal, it was crazy,’ she said.

‘It’s a bit jarring being thrust into the spotlight but I support everything Idris does.

‘He’s the perfect guy.

‘We don’t exactly share all the chores at home because he works so much. But we both do what we can.’  

The model celebrated her impending nuptials at the five-star Amangiri resort in Utah where she and her friends tucked into a cake with the words ‘Future Mrs Elba’ written in icing

The model celebrated her impending nuptials at the five-star Amangiri resort in Utah where she and her friends tucked into a cake with the words ‘Future Mrs Elba’ written in icing

The model celebrated her impending nuptials at the five-star Amangiri resort in Utah where she and her friends tucked into a cake with the words ‘Future Mrs Elba’ written in icing

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