A cyclist slapped a Lamborghini driver who had knocked him off his bike on the Isle of Wight – and then discovered that the motorist was none other than Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch.
The incident happened last September on a country lane near Freshwater, reports The Sun.
The cyclist, 63-year-old retired fisherman Michael Lawrence – known to his friends as Scooby – raised his arm to protect himself but was left bleeding after the wing mirror of the actor’s Lamborghini Urus 4x4 hit him.
One of his friends told the newspaper: “Scooby was on his brand new bike when the car appeared out of nowhere. There was literally nowhere else in the road to go.
“He just put his arm over him and took the full force of the impact on his forearm, which smashed the wing mirror. It totally ruptured his arm. There was blood everywhere.
“Scooby is no shrinking violet and he bloody hurt him by the sounds of it.”
Cumberbatch, aged 42 and who is said to have a second home on the island, is reported to have got out of his vehicle and told Lawrence: “You were in the middle of the road!”
The friend continued: “Scooby dusted himself off and, full of adrenaline, reacted as he knows best — by slapping him. That posh actor was lucky he didn’t throw a punch.
“Apparently it was like a slow-motion moment in a film where the man he just slapped took off his baseball cap, and he realised it was Benedict Cumberbatch. Scooby said he nearly had a heart attack.”
Cumberbatch – who reported the collision to police but is reported not to have wanted to press charges regarding the subsequent slap – gave Lawrence a bottle of water and a T-shirt so he could clean the wound, and offered to drive him to hospital.
Despite the pair exchanging telephone numbers, Lawrence has not heard from the actor since. “He’s miffed he hasn’t been in contact yet,” his friend said. “He said he was lucky to be alive.
“Despite everything, he thought Cumberbatch was all right — a bit posh, but all right.
Lawrence is now reportedly seeking compensation, and when asked by The Sun about the incident said: “I’m sorry but I can’t talk about it.”
Hampshire Police confirmed that the incident had been reported, and said: “No complaints were made, no criminal offences were investigated and the matter is being dealt with through insurance.”
It’s the second time in a year that an incident involving Cumberbatch and a cyclist has come to light several months after it happened.
Last June, it emerged that in November 2017 he jumped out of an Uber he was travelling in with his wife to come to the defence of a Deliveroo rider who four muggers were attempting to rob.
Uber driver Manuel Dias said: “My passenger jumped out, ran over and pulled the men away. They turned towards him and things looked like getting worse, so I joined in.
“He stood there instructing them in the street, shouting, ‘Leave him alone’.
“It was only then I recognised Benedict. Then it all got a bit surreal. Here was Sherlock Holmes fighting off four attackers just round the corner from Baker Street.”
He continued: “I had hold of one lad and Benedict another. He seemed to know exactly what he was doing. He was very brave. He did most of it, to be honest.
“They tried to hit him but he defended himself and pushed them away. He wasn’t injured. Then I think they also recognised it was Benedict and ran away.
“Benedict was courageous, brave and selfless. If he hadn’t stepped in the cyclist could have been seriously injured.
“He asked the rider how he was and when he said, ‘I’m OK’ Benedict just hugged him.
“The cyclist was lucky, Benedict’s a superhero,” he added.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.