Sir Ian is a vicious old Queen

Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen

SIR Ian Mckellen is heading to the small screen in a new TV sitcom with his longtime friend Sir Derek Jacobi.

The actors will team up to appear in new ITV British comedy - Vicious Old Queens - as two elderly gay men who live together in London.

The show is being written by Gary Janetti, the producer behind US TV comedy Will and Grace, and will air in April.

Jacobi recently said of the project, “It hasn’t been titled yet, but it will be lovely to work with Ian as we have never done anything like this together before.”

Meanwhile, the Wigan actor defended The Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit, after early criticism from fans over how it looks in 3-D.

But Sir Ian, who plays the wizard Gandalf in the forthcoming film, said: “I’ve seen enough of it to know it’s going to be just as exciting as Lord of the Rings.

“In fact in some senses it’s more exciting because it’s in three dimensions.”

McKellan said the sensation audiences will experience will bring them closer to Middle Earth, drawing fans into the story as never before.

“It’s not the sort of crude 3-D that comes out of the screen. Rather it brings you into Middle Earth. You see round the corners. You see everything,”

Sir Ian certainly has a lot to thank director Peter Jackson for, as he is one of the world’s best paid actors of pensionable age.

The 73-year-old is currently earning £6.3m in a year.

He could earn tens of millions of pounds from the prequel The Hobbit which is also being split into three films.

Accounts filed to Companies House from McKellen’s company Kirikiri showed the actor received £6,327,232 between April 2011 and March 2012, leaving him with £4,678,250 after paying tax in the UK and abroad, The Sunday Times wrote.

The first part of Jackson’s The Hobbit, An unexpected Journey, will be released in December and is one of the most hotly anticipated movies of the year.