Sir Ian’s not very appy

Sir Ian McKellen attending the launch of the new Shakespeare app
Sir Ian McKellen attending the launch of the new Shakespeare app

Sir Ian McKellen may be very savvy with his social media pages, but the actor made a startling revelation - he has never downloaded an app in his life.

The 76-year-old who grew up in Wigan was speaking at the launch of a new iPad app called Heuristic Shakespeare - The Tempest, designed to replicate the experience of hearing the play read aloud by him in a private performance.

I’ve never downloaded an app in my life. Oh God, I haven’t time

Sir Ian McKellen

He admitted: “I’ve never downloaded an app in my life. Oh God, I haven’t time.

“I’ve got a pile of books I want to read - why do I want to get an app?

“I’d quite like to play these games, I think they’re rather intriguing. But I know I would get terribly absorbed in them, so I just stop myself. Well, that and my big fingers, which make them difficult to use.”

Yet the X-Men star is well equipped with the internet.

He has had a website since 1997, and during the filming of The Lord of the Rings in 2000 began a blog.

He also has an instagram, Facebook and Twitter account, keeping fans amused with his bromance photos of Sir Patrick Stewart.

He said: “That’s because I like to contact the audience, and one way of doing it in this day and age is to do it directly. So I’m a big fan of all this new stuff, but I don’t live by it.”

But he does not approve with the modern obsession with smartphones.

He told The Telegraph: “I can’t understand, and I feel sorry for people who go out and they’re doing this [mimes typing on a phone], walking along the street. And I say to kids, ‘You know while you’ve just sent that message, which didn’t matter? The love of your life walked past, and you missed it.’

“When I was a kid we got a phone, and we had to share it with a neighbour that we knew. We always had the phone in the hall, which was the draughtiest place in the house. My phone, I can’t send the number and it very rarely rings, and that suits me down to the ground.”

Sir Ian is currently taking part in a variety of events to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. He is also preparing to tour the UK in Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land with Sir Patrick Stewart from September.