Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter marry

HOLLYWOOD star Benedict Cumberbatch was set to wed his Scottish fiancée Sophie Hunter yesterday in a romantic Valentine’s Day ceremony in the south of England.

Sophie Hunter and Benedict Cumberbatch. Picture: PA

The couple, who announced their engagement in a notice in the Times in November, were expected to tie the knot in a private ceremony, surrounded by close friends and family.

Imitation Game star Cumberbatch, 38, who is shortlisted for a best actor Oscar later this month for his role as tortured genius war hero Alan Turing, met Hunter, 36, who is originally from Edinburgh, when they appeared together in the 2009 film Burlesque Fairytales. Last month it was reported that they are expecting their first child.

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The intimate wedding is believed to have taken place in the sprawling grounds of a spectacular period property on the Isle of Wight.

It is understood guests included the actress Keira Knightley, who starred alongside Cumberbatch in the Imitation Game – the film which has earned the actor his first Oscar nomination.

Cumberbatch is enjoying a golden period in his career as one of Britain’s most popular actors. He he has been lauded for his role as codebreaker Turing, having also starred in Star Trek: Into Darkness and 12 Years a Slave, after leaping into the public consciousness in the title role of the BBC’s detective series Sherlock.

The actor, who has a global army of fans jokingly referred to as “Cumberbitches”, previously dated the actress Olivia Poulet and the designer Anna Jones.

Hunter is an Oxford graduate who studied modern languages. She has directed a number of experimental and avant-garde productions including a puppet version of Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition which toured the US.

She has taken acting roles in TV shows such as Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood and Midsomer Murders, as well as the 2004 film version of Vanity Fair starring Reese Witherspoon.

Her stage productions as a director include the Britten opera The Rape of Lucretia. She has also had a music career of her own, recording a French language album with Robbie Williams’s collaborator Guy Chambers in 2005 called The Isis Project, after they met through a mutual friend.

Press regulator IPSO was contacted yesterday by representatives of the couple asking for privacy for their wedding.