Sir Ian takes stock for charity

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen

SIR Ian McKellen is certainly raking in the cash - so much so he has had a go at working in the stock market.

The actor, who grew up in Wigan, joined a host of other celebrities to make sales calls at the Bloomberg Tradebook agency in London to make money for the Albert Kennedy Trust, which supports members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community who are homeless or in crisis.

This is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness for and support young LGBT people in crisis, now let’s make some money

Sir Ian McKellen

He said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness for and support young LGBT people in crisis, now let’s make some money!”

He was joined by X Files actress Gillian Anderson, former Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding, Game of Thrones actor Owen Teale, and Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter, who raised funds for their own chosen charities.

The annual fund-raiser also takes place in Hong Kong and New York City. Traders donate their commissions for the day.

Sir Ian also signed an open letter calling for equality for funding for physical and mental health treatment.

The open letter, which has now been signed by more than 200 people, calls for the government to increase “investment into the provision of mental health services”.

The letter highlights 10 major concerns over inadequate mental health care, including the lack of access to treatment, long waiting times, inadequate crisis care and the use of police cells. It also notes the high cost of mental ill health.

On a lighter note, the Lord of the Rings star made Radio One breakfast DJ Nick Grimshaw grimace slightly over falling listening figures during a recent interview.

Promoting his role in The Dresser, which aired on BBC Two last week, Sir Ian said working in the theatre has given him a late body clock, joking: “I’m a theatre person which means I go to bed late and I get up as late as possible. But for you and the listeners. Do we have any listeners? Do we have any?!”

Nick laughed it off, insisting: “They’re listening!”

He added he had always wanted to work with Sir Anthony Hopkins, who was also in The Dresser, by saying: “He’s just the sweetest and most charming. We just got on like a house on fire.”