British actor Cumberbatch announces engagement in newspaper ad

LONDON - British actor Benedict Cumberbatch announced his engagement the old-fashioned way on Wednesday - by placing a notice in The Times newspaper.

The 38-year-old star of "Sherlock" and "The Imitation Game" is to marry British theatre director Sophie Hunter, 36. The couple have reportedly been dating for several months.

The notice said simply: "The engagement is announced between Benedict, son of Wanda and Timothy Cumberbatch of London, and Sophie, daughter of Katharine Hunter of Edinburgh and Charles Hunter of London."

Cumberbatch is one of Britain's most successful actors, known for playing complicated but brilliant figures such as super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes and computing pioneer Alan Turing.

The announcement threatens to break the hearts of many of his devoted fans, who are known as "Cumberb******".

The Times's Births, Marriages and Deaths is the traditional place for well-connected Britons to announce key milestones in family life.

But it is rare for such a high-profile celebrity to announce their engagement in such a way rather than through a publicist's press release.