BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH TO HOST LAUREUS WORLD SPORTS AWARDS IN SHANGHAI

  • ‘I am a big sports enthusiast and I am delighted that I have made the team  for the second straight year’ – says Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Laureus Awards Ceremony to be held in Shanghai on April 15
  • Apply for media accreditation by April 7 at http://accreditation.laureus.com

LONDON, March 24, 2015 – Hugely popular f ilm and TV actor Benedict Cumberbatch is to host next month’s Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai.

Fresh from his latest triumph, playing Bletchley Park scientist Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, which won him Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations, Cumberbatch will present the world’s most prestigious sports awards event for the second straight year.

Benedict s aid: “ I am delighted the selectors have picked me again to be part of the team for such an important event for the second straight year. We all admire the achievements of the greatest sportsmen and women that we meet, so to be able to share the stage for such a signature moment for them is a treat for me.

“I am a big sports enthusiast and last year was a real pleasure for me. I met Tony Hawk, my childhood hero, and had the chance to swap a few running tips with Sebastian Coe and Daley Thompson. And of course it is all for such a good cause. The work Laureus does around the world, using sport to improve the lives of young people, is an inspiration and I am delighted to be part of this very special event.”

Benedict has appeared in a series of highly successful films over the last few years, including the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave and the Academy Award nominated August: Osage County . In addition he has appeared as Julian Assange in the Wikileaks movie The Fifth Estate and as the Dragon Smaug, in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, plus, of course, his role as Sherlock Holmes in the highly successful TV drama Sherlock .

He has also appeared in Atonement (2007), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and Steven Spielberg's War Horse (2011), and is about to star as Hamlet in London’s West End .

A great supporter of charities, Benedict is an ambassador for the Prince's Trust which aims to help disadvantaged young people in the United Kingdom. After playing scientist Stephen Hawking in the TV production of Hawking in 2004, he has been an active supporter and patron of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The 16th Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2014, is the premier honours event on the international sporting calendar. The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 50 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged in the Shanghai Grand Theatre on Wednesday, April 15.

Among the sporting greats who have previously been named as winners of Laureus Awards over the last 15 years have been Usain Bolt, Sebastian Coe, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Kelly Holmes, Yao Ming, Rafael Nadal, Pelé, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Shaun White, Serena Williams, Liu Xiang and Zinedine Zidane .

Guests who have attended previous Awards Ceremonies in the past have included David and Victoria Beckham, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jackie Chan, Thandie Newton, Clive Owen and Eva Longoria.

The full list of Nominees for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards is:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year

Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis; Lewis Hamilton (UK) Motor Racing; Renaud Lavillenie (France) Athletics; Rory McIlroy (UK) Golf; Marc Márquez (Spain) Motor Cycling; Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Football.

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year

Valerie Adams (NZ) Athletics; Marit Bjørgen (Norway) Nordic Skiing; Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics; Tina Maze (Slovenia) Alpine Skiing; Li Na (China) Tennis: Serena Williams (US) Tennis.

Laureus World Team of the Year

European Ryder Cup Team (Golf); Germany Men’s Football Team; Mercedes AMG Petronas Team (Germany); Real Madrid Football Team (Spain); San Antonio Spurs (US) Basketball; Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis).

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award

Marin Cilic (Croatia) Tennis; Mario Götze (Germany) Football; Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Motor Racing; James Rodriguez (Colombia) Football; Mikaela Shiffrin (US) Alpine Skiing; Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis).

Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award

Francesco Acerbi (Italy) Football; Schalk Burger (South Africa) Rugby; Diego Milito (Argentina) Football; Jo Pavey (UK) Athletics; Pierre Vaultier (France) Snowboarding; Oliver Wilson (UK) Golf.

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Shelley Gautier (Canada) Cycling; Tatyana McFadden (US) Wheelchair Racing; Roman Petushkov (Russia) Nordic Skiing; Anna Schaffelhuber (Germany) Alpine Skiing; Sarah Storey (UK) Cycling; Leung Yuk Wing (H ong Kong SAR China) Boccia.

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award

Alan Eustace (US) Skydiving; Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing; Nyjah Huston (US) Skateboarding; Sage Kotsenburg (US) Snowboarding; Danny MacAskill (UK) Trials Cycling; Gabriel Medina (Brazil) Surfing.

For more detailed biographies of Nominees go to www.laureus.com

Click here for more news about the Laureus World Sports Awards 2015

For further information please contact:

Virginie Bernon

International Senior Media & PR Manager

Tel: +44 (0) 207 514 2841    

E mail:  publicrelations@laureus.com

Website:  www.laureus.com

Follow us on Twitter @LaureusSport

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Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements - the Laureus World Sports Academy, Laureus Sport for Good and the Laureus World Sports Awards - which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change. The first Patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, he said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work. The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Cafu, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, David Douillet, Rahul Dravid, Luis Figo, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick (Chairman), Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Maria Höfl-Riesch, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Tegla Loroupe, Dan Marino, Yao Ming, Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Li Na, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexey Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Brian O’Driscoll, Alessandro Del Piero, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Carles Puyol, Raúl, Steve Redgrave, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Sachin Tendulkar, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh, Katarina Witt, Li Xiaopeng and Yang Yang. The Laureus Academy Members volunteer their services as global ambassadors for Laureus Sport for Good, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change. Laureus Sport for Good addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €100 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people. The mission of Laureus Sport for Good is to use sport as a means to combat some of the toughest social challenges facing young people today such as violence and crime, discrimination, unemployment, lack of education and health threats including HIV/AIDS and obesity. The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury – 60 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today. The Awards are presented at an annual Awards Ceremony, attended by global figures from sport and entertainment, which is broadcast to 160 countries and territories. The Awards continue to support Laureus Sport for Good by showcasing the incredible work it does with athletes and partners to transform the lives of individuals and promoting to a global audience the power of sport as a development tool to combat challenging social issues. Laureus was founded by its Patrons Richemont and Daimler and is supported by its Global Partners Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen. Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz is the inventor of the automobile – and has been passionately shaping its future since 1886. As pioneers in automotive engineering, it is both our inspiration and responsibility to continue the tradition of the brand with trailblazing technologies and high-quality products. Like no other trademark in the automotive world, Mercedes-Benz appeals to both the hearts and minds of its customers. We give our very best for customers who expect the very best. Since the founding fathers Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, our corporate history has been one of innovation and pioneering achievements. Many technical innovations that are nowadays standard in automobiles first entered the market in a Mercedes-Benz. This is the basis for our claim to leadership in automotive engineering. The brand stands for Modern Luxury, and enjoys an outstanding reputation for quality, safety, comfort, design and comprehensive, sustainable mobility. IWC SchaffhausenWith a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports institutions around the globe in their work with children and young people and maintains partnerships with organisations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.

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“I am delighted the selectors have picked me again to be part of the team for such an important event for the second straight year. We all admire the achievements of the greatest sportsmen and women that we meet, so to be able to share the stage for such a signature moment for them is a treat for me.
Benedict Cumberbatch
“I am a big sports enthusiast and last year was a real pleasure for me. I met Tony Hawk, my childhood hero, and had the chance to swap a few running tips with Sebastian Coe and Daley Thompson. And of course it is all for such a good cause. The work Laureus does around the world, using sport to improve the lives of young people, is an inspiration and I am delighted to be part of this very special event.”
Benedict Cumberbatch