SIR Ian McKellen returned to his home town to unveil his star in Wigan’s hall of fame and told how he was planning to take in a show at Chorley Little Theatre.
The star of stage and screen knelt down and kissed the plaque bearing his name at Believe Square in Wigan town centre yesterday (Monday).
He said he was off for a cup of tea at Mesnes Park, across the road from where he grew up, and later that evening watching Sherlock Holmes in Chorley.
Sir Ian has been handed the accolade as a celebration of a career which has so far spanned more than 50 years.
The 76-year-old lived in Wigan from being a baby until the age of 12 and has spoken about his love of the brass bands playing at the park.
He told the crowd gathered outside the Life Centre: “I believe in Wigan because Wigan believed in me.”
Famous for his performances in Macbeth, Othello, Richard III and King Lear, Sir Ian’s first encounter with Shakespeare was a performance of Twelfth Night by amateurs at Wigan Little Theatre.
But to most he will be best-known as Magneto in the X-Men films and as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.
Lord Peter Smith, Leader of Wigan Council, said: “It is an immense privilege for Wigan Council to bestow this honour on a great actor of film and theatre.
“Sir Ian McKellen is rightly one of this town’s most loved sons who has brought the magic of stage and screen to life to so many people around the world. There are few better ambassadors for the town having inspired people across Wigan Borough in so many ways including his active work campaigning for equal rights for LGBT community and as a founder of Stonewall.”