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Benedict Cumberbatch pledges to take in Ukrainian refugees

English actor Benedict Cumberbatch has told fans that he will be taking part in the UK government’s new “homes for Ukraine” scheme and house refugees. On Sunday, March 13th, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove, announced the scheme to allow British households to take in refugees from Ukraine and receive £350 per month of government funding for six months. 

Speaking from the red carpet at the BAFTA Awards in London, Cumberbatch was sporting a Ukraine badge, and explained his thoughts to Sky News: “It is a really shocking time to be a European, two and a half hours’ flight away from Ukraine, and it’s something that hangs over us,” he said.

“We all need to do more than wear a badge. We need to donate, we need to pressure our politicians to continue to create some kind of a haven here for people who are suffering,” he added. “Everyone needs to do as much as they can. There’s been a record number of people volunteering to take people into their homes, I hope to be part of that myself”.

Fittingly, this year’s host of the BAFTAs, Rebel Wilson, kicked off proceedings by showing the middle finger to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, the man behind Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th. Since then, the entertainment world has shown unilateral support for the Ukrainian cause. 

Opening the ceremony, the chairman of the organisation, Krishnendu Majumdar, delivered a speech honouring the Ukrainian people and the country’s film industry. He said: “Together with our colleagues at the Ukrainian Film Academy, we stand in solidarity and hope for a return to peace”.

Majumdar added: “We’re hugely grateful to the journalists covering Ukraine, many of whom are BAFTA members. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine as well as those affected by other conflicts around the world.”

Watch Cumberbatch on the red carpet below.