Sir Ian is always good in a crisis

Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen
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SIR Ian McKellen has backed a fundraising venture by the homelessness charity Crisis.

The campaign will be based around author JRR Tolkien’s West Midlands childhood home and the former Wiganer, who played Gandalf in the film adaptations of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, will appear in video clues on computer tablets carried by teams taking part.

These will guide participants around the area where Tolkien grew up, and points will be awarded.

The event will take place on 12 May.

And Sir Ian’s charity work and community spirit does not stop there.

He has agreed to sponsor two Leamington teenagers - Nick Howden-Steenstra, 18, and Alex Hutchinson, 19, as they run, cycle and row to Greece over the 40 days of Lent.

Sir Ian met Nick, who works for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust as an actor, after conducting a talk at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry and was impressed by the teenager’s commitment.

The challenge will raise money for the charities Macmillan Cancer Support and Amnesty International.

Meanwhile, Sir Ian’s portrait is currently on display at the Office for National Statistics, in Newport as part of a special exhibition.

The exhibition, known as Pink Portraits, includes portraits of some of the prime lesbian, gay, or bisexual talent (LGBT) working in UK film as part of LGBT History Month.

Other stars photographed include Stephen Fry, Simon Callow, and Mark Gatiss, among others.

The exhibition finishes on February 28.