SIR Ian McKellen has spoken for his love of the BBC in a new campaign video to protect the corporation from cuts.
The actor, who grew up in Wigan, was among a group of celebrities who are backing The Great BBC Campaign to lobby on behalf of the public-funded organisation, which is facing a raft of cost-cutting measures from the government.
My early education on world drama came from Saturday night theatre. Sitting around the radio with the family.Sir Ian McKellen
In a video, the Lord of the Rings star credits the BBC with introducing him to acting via Saturday night radio dramas, adding: “My early education on world drama came from Saturday night theatre. Sitting around the radio with the family. I might get a bit teary because those are some of the best moments of my childhood.”
Other actors to give their support to the BBC include Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, Bond star Naomie Harris, Steve Coogan, and director Danny Boyle.
Meanwhile, Sir Ian was the perfect candidate to read an emotional coming out letter from Armistead Maupin’s More Tales of the City, as part of Letters Live, an organization that celebrates “the enduring power of literary correspondence.” In the book, character Michael Tolliver writes a letter to his mother where he comes out to her as a gay man and explains his newfound personal freedom. Sir Ian read: “I’m sorry, Mama, not for what I am, but for how you must feel. I know what that feeling is, for I felt it for most of my life: revulsion, shame, disbelief — rejection through fear of something I knew, even as a child, was as basic to my nature as the colour of my eyes.”