Benedict Cumberbatch returns to Rumpole of the Bailey role

In-demand star Benedict Cumberbatch has revived his role as fictional barrister Rumpole Of The Bailey to return in further BBC Radio 4 dramas.

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The Sherlock star slotted the recordings of the stories, by late author John Mortimer, into his busy filming schedule during a flying visit to the UK last month

The 37-year-old, who has voiced the character on previous occasions, recorded two new episodes alongside Jasmine Hyde, who plays his wife Hilda, with the stories to be broadcast next week.

The stories, which also feature Nigel Anthony and Stephen Critchlow, are set in 1964 when Rumpole's new pupil, Phillida Trant causes trouble.

The claret-drinking lawyer is given the task of defending a man accused of blackmail, but Trant risks a charge of contempt of court by helping her journalist friend to publish the name of the victim.

In a further episode Rumpole represents a defendant accused of attempted murder, and leaves his wife.

:: Rumpole And The Old Boy Net will be broadcast by Radio 4 on Thursday at 2.15pm, with Rumpole And The Sleeping Partners on the next day.

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