SIR Ian McKellen has reportedly signed a deal worth £1 million to write an autobiography.
The revealing book will cover the life of the actor, from his childhood days in Wigan and later years in Bolton, to his career, with roles in X-Men and Lord of the Rings and his latest film Mr Holmes.
I regret and always shall that I didn’t see the significance of coming out at a much earlier date because I think I would have been a different person and a happier oneSir Ian McKellen
During his visit to Wigan earlier this month to unveil his star in Believe Square, he hinted at writing a book when Kay Burley interviewed him for Sky News. As she asked him about his Wigan memories, he told her she would need to read his book.
Readers are expected to discover Sir Ian’s decision to come out as gay in 1988 - a time when gay actors were still largely shunned for work, as he recently admitted he wished he did it earlier as it had made him a better actor.
The 76-year-old said: “I regret and always shall that I didn’t see the significance of coming out at a much earlier date because I think I would have been a different person and a happier one.
“Self-confidence is the most important thing that anybody can have.”
He also regretted not telling his dad, Denis, before he died in 1964, saying: “It wasn’t fair of me. You’re 24, you’re living with another man, you know that about yourself, your father loves you, is always asking how you are in every possible way, and I think, if he’d lived a bit longer, I would have told him.”
Meanwhile, Sir Ian has paid tribute to Christopher Lee, who died last week, as they starred together in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
In the piece, Sir Ian reveals that despite his lengthy acting career, Mr Lee was nervous when he first took on the villainous wizard role. He wrote: “Touchingly, he was a little nervous at the outset. He said ‘Peter (Jackson, director) made me do my first speech 10 times!!’ But I told him not to worry, as the previous day I’d had to repeat a scene 27 times. His dark eyes widened and glinted but he didn’t complain again. Peter was tickled to have his Hammer Horror hero as the villain.”
He also claimed his pal was determined to remain “fit for purpose” as he continued acting in his twilight years, adding: “He needn’t have worried. His acting prowess never declined.”