Friday, November 14, 2014

'That chap' Benedict Cumberbatch is a 'superb' Alan Turing, former Bletchley Park girl says

By Georgia Graham, Political Correspondent
9:56AM GMT 14 Nov 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch is "absolutely superb" as Alan Turing but his real girlfriend was not a pretty as Keira Knightly, Baroness Trumpington has said.

Mr Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing in a new film following the pioneering code breaker and his team at Bletchley Park in a race against time to break the German Enigma code during the darkest days of World War II.

Baroness Trumpington, 92, who was born Jean Alys Barker and worked at Bletchley Park from 1940 onwards appeared unaware of Mr Cumberbatch's worldwide fame but said "the chap" who plays Mr Turing is "fantastic".

Although she praised Miss Knightly's acting she said she was far too pretty for the role of Joan Clarke, the one-time fiance of Mr Turing. The couple broke up after he told her that he was homosexual.

Mr Turing was a British mathematician who's work to break the enigma code is thought to have shortened the war by years. Ten years later he killed himself following a conviction for homosexuality. The film tracing his achievement, The Immitation Game, is released today.

Winston Churchill has said that Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany.

Despite his massively influential role in the war and unrivalled talent his life ended in tragedy. A year ago the Queen granted Turing a royal pardon overturning his 1952 conviction for homosexuality. He killed himself a year after that conviction.

Reviewing 'The Immitation Game' for Radio 4, Baroness Trumpington said: "I think the acting is absolutely superb, the chap who plays Turing is fantastic. I really do think, his girlfriend, if only she has been as ravishingly pretty as the one in the film was.

"The film fascinated me because I had no idea that Commander Denniston was so awful to Turing."


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