Sir Ian forced to revoice his Wigan accent

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen

SIR Ian McKellen has said he had to re-voice his role in The Dresser because American viewers could not understand his northern accent.

Speaking on ITV’s The Jonathan Ross Show Christmas Special, The Lord Of The Rings star made the revelation while discussing BBC Two’s dramatisation of Ronald Harwood’s play. “I used my native northern accent and it’s now going to be shown in America next year and I’ve had to re-do my voice because the Americans can’t understand my accent!” he said.

Sir Ian also shared his experiences of recycling gifts from friends.

“I do have a drawer at home that I put gifts in, that I know I’m not really going to get much use out of, and then around about this time of year, I take them out. It’s all right as long as you remember who gave it to you in the first place.”

When asked if he had ever had any mishaps with gifts, the 76-year-old admitted to one mistake.

It involved a present from “a very distinguished writer” who had given him “a lovely notebook, leather-bound” which was not needed.

“Next Christmas I thought, I wonder what I can give her? Ooh, perfect’. And I gave her back the present she’d given me,” he said.

“What I hadn’t noticed was that she’d given a very sweet dedication in the front of it. I don’t do that any more.”

On the subject of cinema, Sir Ian opened up about Pride – a film that had moved him deeply. “The last movie I really had a sob at was Pride, which was very emotional for me as a gay man, about the early gay rights movement in this country.”

The award-winning film told the unlikely, but true, story of how a group of gay and lesbian activists, including trainee chef Joe (played by George MacKay), supported striking miners in 1984. When the lad (Joe) finally gets to 21, and he’s going to be allowed legally to have sex for the first time, they give him a button (a badge) it says, ‘Legal at last’ and I was just awash,” Sir Ian said.