SIR Ian McKellen wants a gay pig in children’s animated series Peppa Pig, named after himself.
The actor, who grew up in Wigan, was speaking after a number of leading politicians called for better representation of gay characters on children’s TV shows.
Kids at that age have no problem with it, at all. They just understand loveSir Ian McKellen
Asked by PinkNews whether he agreed with Norman Lamb and Yvette Cooper in wanting Peppa Pig to feature gay characters, he said: “Of course, why not!
“Peppa Pig – I’ve got the series but I haven’t actually got round to watching it yet.
He added: “When I heard that kids in primary school are being taught about homosexuality I gasped and thought aren’t they a bit young?
“Well that just shows how old fashioned I am. Kids at that age have no problem with it, at all. They just understand love.”
Asked whether the gay character could be called Ian, he replied: “I’d love that!”
Labour’s Yvette Cooper said previously: “The whole point is that actually, for kids growing up – the whole point is for people to celebrating and understanding same-sex relationships because this is the rest of the world around you. This is normal life.”
Meanwhile, the Lord of The Rings star has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award by The Mill Valley Film Festival in San Rafael. He will be presented with the award at the festival on October 11. The evening will feature an on-stage conversation, special showing of clips from his work and presentation of the MVFF Award.
Director of Programming, Zoe Elton, said: “This tribute couldn’t be more timely. While a whole new generation has been turned on to his genius seeing him as Gandalf, Ian McKellen’s current performance in Mr Holmes adds another jewel in the crown of an incredible career.
“It’s such beautiful work and, of course, it brings him back together with director Bill Condon of Gods and Monsters fame, the film that garnered McKellen a Best Actor Oscar nomination.
“We’re honouring his whole career. I’ll never forget his extraordinary debut on the London stage in the early 70s. And, really, everything he’s done since, on stage, screen and TV. He’s brilliant.”