SIR Ian McKellen is certainly a fan of the arts.
The former Wigan resident led a campaign to have LS Lowry’s work displayed in The Tate Gallery, in London.
The Tate holds 23 Lowry works but only one, Industrial Landscape, has been on display in the capital in the past 20 years.
Sir Ian made a documentary last year claiming it was “a shame verging on the iniquitous that foreign visitors to London shouldn’t have access to the painter English people like more than most others”.
When the gallery listened to his pleas, he wrote on Twitter: “I’m sure all Lowry’s admirers will be happy as I am that Tate will show a major retrospective of his industrial paintings in 2013.”
Meanwhile. the Lord of The Rings star has signed a print of gold medal diver Matthew Mitcham as part of the run-up to an exhibition opening in London for the Olympics.
He signed a print that shows a nude Mitcham in a scene modelled after The Storm Sun by 17th century artist Willem van de Velde II.
The print, one of several done by Watson of Mitcham, will be used by Stonewall UK, a gay rights organisation, as a fund-raising gift.
Sir Ian is also backing a campaign, based in New Zealand, launched by Rainbow Youth and OUTline, to stop sexual preference discrimination.
Sir Ian McKellen, who is in New Zealand filming The Hobbit, will be appearing in a second video at a later date.
He also supports the Lesbian And Gay Foundation Enough Is Enough! campaign.