SIR Ian McKellen is giving I’m a Celebrity runner up George Shelley acting tips.
The actor, who grew up in Wigan, met George with fellow Union J band members at the Pride of Britain Awards last year and the pair kept in touch.
Ian McKellen has been mentoring me. He is one of my idols – him and Johnny Depp. Gandalf has said that I’m a good actorGeorge Shelley
George told The Sun: “Ian McKellen has been mentoring me. He is one of my idols – him and Johnny Depp.
“Gandalf has said that I’m a good actor.”
The Lord of The Rings star no doubt kept up-to-date with George’s antics in the jungle, and revealed he has had his own close encounters with creepy crawlies.
As he played an ageing version of legendary fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in the movie Mr Holmes, who had an interest in bees.
He revealed he refused to work with the insects when director Bill Condon first told him about his character’s hobby, but film finances quickly forced him to rethink his position.
He admitted: “Then they explained that this is an independent movie, which means a cheap movie... You can’t have all the CGI (computer-generated imagery).
“So I went to bee school - which was fashionably located at (posh London department store) Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly. There’s a guy there who keeps bees, in rather fancy hives, as you can imagine. I hope the bees appreciate it.”
Sir Ian, who managed to avoid being stung on-set, learned all about caring for the critters from the professional and he was also given an inside tip about the quality of the Fortnum & Mason honey, as the bees feed on flowers at Queen Elizabeth II’s home at Buckingham Palace.
He added: “So the royal family are being robbed daily of their nectar by the other queen in the hive.”
Sir Ian’s next role is Cogsworth in a film adaptation of Beauty in the Beast, which is released in cinemas in 2017.
The 76-year-old admitted he had written a song for the film - Beauty and the Clock - but it never made the cut.
He said: “I have written my own song, but it didn’t make it in. My name is Cogsworth / And I’m a clock / Tick-tock.”
Beauty and the Beast also stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast/Prince.