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Just when we thought that the 17th Moet British Independent Film Awards couldn’t add to what should already be a sparkling night at London’s Old Billingsgate on December 7, they decide to honour both Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Thompson with special achievement accolades.

It was announced by the organisation’s joint directors, Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, that Cumberbatch will receive the Variety Award and Thompson the Richard Harris Award.

The former recognises an artist who has helped to focus international attention on the UK. The latter, introduced in 2002 in honour of the Irish legend, rewards outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. Thompson said: “It is a very special award, in name of an incredible actor who inspired so many during his career. I am honoured to follow in the footsteps of my peers who have received the award before me, and look forward to celebrating a fantastic year of British independent filmmaking.”

Anyone who saw Cumberbatch being interviewed recently on The Andrew Marr Show, will know that he remains incredibly humble. On this latest achievement, he commented: “I am delighted to receive this prestigious award and would like to thank Variety and The Moet British Independent Film Awards for this incredible honour. It is made even more special by the recognition of The Imitation Game in this year’s nominations, a film I am very proud to be part of.”

But you can’t keep a good man/woman down, and this dynamic duo have got plenty on the go over the next year. As well as completing filming on The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson and A Walk in the Woods, Thompson will also reprise her stage role of Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the London Coliseum in March 2015.

Cumberbatch fans, meanwhile, are in for a treat. Amongst other projects, the man of the moment will be filming a new Christmas special of Sherlock next year.

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