SIR Ian McKellen almost refused a knighthood because of his high moral standards.
The actor, who grew up in Wigan, was given the honour by the Queen in 1991 but he admitted he nearly refused to accept it as he felt there were many people omitted from the list.
I don’t think we should have titlesSir Ian McKellen
He told the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine: “I don’t think we should have titles. It’s a very strange system. Actors are more likely to get them than fire chiefs or people who have spent their lives doing charity work, which is a bit unfair, isn’t it? I was in two minds about it, I liked being Mr McKellen. And if we all said no, it would stop.”
However, after consulting with three friends, Sir Ian decided he should accept it.
He previously revealed he thought he was being pranked when he received a call from the offices of the Prime Minister of Britain to tell him he had been recommended for the honour.
Recalling the conversation, he said: “The phone rang: ‘This is 10 Downing Street’. I thought it was a colleague having a joke but no: ‘The Prime Minister has it in mind to recommend that the Queen give you a knighthood.’ Flummoxed, I asked for time to think it over.”
It has also been reported that bosses at Sir Ian’s latest film, Mr Holmes, could be in trouble over copyright issues. The estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s current ownership want unspecified damages and an injunction to stop the film opening in the UK next month.
But Sir Ian fans will not miss out on seeing him on the screen as the second series of Vicious is to be aired from this Monday, on ITV at 9pm.
Speaking of the series he said: “We get out of the house more. In the first series we barely admitted there was a world outside, now our characters walk down the street, go to the gym and have ballroom classes.”
And in an interview he also joked that he would love to collaborate with One Direction or Kate Bush after appearing in George Ezra’s music video. He said: “My pop career began when I appeared in Heart by The Pet Shop Boys, then I was in a video for the Scissor Sisters, so that was the latest. I even had to turn down one with Elbow. I’m still waiting for the call from One Direction.”