No joke for Sir Ian

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen

SIR Ian McKellen has spoken out against late Margaret Thatcher’s policies concerning gay rights.

The Wigan-raised actor wrote in his blog that the former Prime Minister set the movement back by two decades.

He said she “misjudged the future” by pandering to the right wing of her party over Section 28.

The controversial law, introduced in 1988, banned schools and local authorities from promoting homosexuality as an accepted family relationship.

In his blog he wrote: “Lest we forget, this short measure of the third Thatcher administration, was designed to slander homosexuality, by prohibiting state schools from discussing positively gay people and our ‘pretended family relations.’”

On a separate note, The X-Men star admitted that he probably won’t marry after gay marriage is legalised in Britain and New Zealand.

He told The Telegraph: “If there are gay people who want to announce their devotion to each other, their commitment to each other, their determination to live together and stick it out through all of life’s ups and downs – in other words, to be married – then obviously I think it should be available to them,

“But I think it’s probably not for me – and I am not an unhappy person at all.”

The Lord of The Rings star also admitted that when he received a knighthood, under the influence of Thatcher, he thought it was a joke.

He was told about the honour on the day Thatcher left office, and he was convinced the phone call from officials at Downing Street was a practical joke.

In his blog, he wrote: “I was watching the television relay from London, where the cameras were fixed on the front door of Number 10, waiting for Mrs Thatcher’s final exit as Prime Minister...

“Now the phone rang: ‘This is 10 Downing Street’. I thought it was a colleague having a joke but no: ‘The Prime Minister has been trying to reach you. She has it in mind... to recommend that the Queen give you a knighthood.’

“Then, just as I put down the phone, the big black shiny door opened and the Thatchers emerged, she crying a little. “It was as if she had kept the world waiting until she knew for sure that I’d been contacted. Of course not. But nevertheless, I suppose the very last thing Thatcher did as prime minster was to organise my knighthood.”