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Benedict Cumberbatch swills drink in first-look Patrick Melrose trailer

Benedict Cumberbatch has given a glimpse at the alcohol-swilling, troubled upper-class playboy he plays in new drama series Patrick Melrose.

In a first-look trailer for the forthcoming Sky Original series, the Sherlock star is seen drinking a martini and rambling to a waiter, before he drinks neat spirit from a bottle.

The preview teaser offers a brief look at the life of the programme’s protagonist and his harrowing, yet sometimes hilarious, journey through life, from a difficult childhood to his affected adult years.

He is described as an “aristocratic and outrageously funny playboy” who turns to substance abuse to escape the memories of his abusive childhood.

Hugo Weaving plays Patrick’s overbearing and terrifying father, while Jennifer Jason Leigh is his unhappy American mother.

The series also stars Meet The Fockers’ Blythe Danner, Indira Varma of Luther, Strike’s Holliday Grainger, Jessica Raine from Call The Midwife and Bridget Jones star Celia Imrie.

The sweeping programme, which covers the 1960s in the south of France through New York in the 1980s and Britain in the early 2000s, is based on Edward St Aubyn’s acclaimed series of semi-autobiographical Patrick Melrose novels.

Benedict Cumberbatch filming Patrick Melrose in Glasgow (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Last year, Cumberbatch was filmed shooting scenes in Glasgow, which had been transformed to look like New York.

Each episode in the five-part series, a joint venture by Sky Atlantic and Showtime, is based on one of St Aubyn’s books, including the Man Booker shortlisted Mother’s Milk.

The series was written by One Day author David Nicholls and directed by Edward Berger.

Patrick Melrose will air in the UK and Ireland on Sky Atlantic and TV streaming service Now TV later this year.