Benedict Cumberbatch is going to shatter the hopes of female fans around the world after announcing he is to marry.

The Sherlock star has become engaged to the theatre director Sophie Hunter.

An announcement about the couple’s news was made public in a small notice in The Times newspaper.

Benedict, 38, is enjoying a golden period in his career as one of Britain’s most popular actors and he has been lauded for his role as codebreaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, with suggestions he could make it onto the Oscars shortlist for the role.

There were reports last month that the star had headed to Edinburgh to seek the blessing of Sophie’s mother for the marriage.