Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Ian McKellen’s CH

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 29th December, 2007

ian-mckellen.jpgThe actor Sir Ian McKellen has been made a Companion of Honour, the Order comprising just 65 people acknowledged to have given services ‘of national importance’ to the realm. It is an honour well deserved. Quite apart from his role as a Shakespearean actor of renown (not to mention his more ‘popular’ roles as Gandalf and Widow Twankey), Sir Ian has made a significant contribution to civil liberties and equality by his unequivocal stand on LGBT issues; he was a co-founder of the lobbying group Stonewall. As we both grew up in small towns in Lancashire and now live not far apart in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, I’ve long followed his activities with interest. Moreover, he is the complete antithesis of a self-important venerable actor, and he has a lively, sometimes childlike, sense of humour. It is typical of the man that one of his greatest theatrical ambitions (having towered in numerous Shakespearean roles) was to appear on ‘Coronation Street — which he did, for 10 episodes, in 2005.   

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