Benedict Cumberbatch has risked the fury of Hiddleswift fans by refusing to ask Tom Hiddleston about his whirlwind relationship with Taylor Swift.

Benedict was interviewing friend and fellow actor Tom for Interview Magazine and the lengthy discussion included everything from Shakespeare, Marvel and The Night Manager but just a passing unnamed reference to Taylor.

Sherlock star Benedict said: “Without getting into a huge debate, I just want to say that I’m not going to ask questions about my friend’s personal life just because there are unsolicited photographs of him and a certain someone, in a relationship or together.

“I’m not going to get into that. So that door is closed, dear reader.”

(Nigel French/EMPICS Sport)

Tom seemed to appreciate the gesture, chuckling in response and thanking Benedict.

The US pop star and British actor reportedly split up earlier this month after a high-profile summer romance.

Tom, 35, had insisted their relationship was not a publicity stunt after he was photographed wearing an “I Heart TS” vest near Taylor’s Rhode Island home in July.

He told the Hollywood Reporter: “The truth is that Taylor Swift and I are together, and we’re very happy. That’s the truth. It’s not a publicity stunt.”

Taylor, 26, who has become one of the world’s biggest pop stars with hits including Bad Blood and Blank Space, has previously been romantically linked with One Direction star Harry Styles and has also dated DJ Calvin Harris.