‘Amol Rajan speaks to actor Ian McKellen, one of the most celebrated performers of his generation and someone who has long defied convention and expectation.

In this probing hour-long interview, Rajan asks the man who played Gandalf about growing up in Lancashire during the Second World War, launching his acting career at Cambridge alongside Derek Jacobi, and finally choosing to publicly reveal the truth about his sexuality in 1988. Regularly lauded as the heir to Laurence Olivier, McKellen is just as comfortable analysing the intricacies of Shakespearean drama as he is revealing the debt his X-Men films owe to the civil rights movements. He tells Rajan about what it was like to be part of the first gay kiss on BBC Television in 1970 and mulls on his own mortality in the aftermath of the pandemic.’ – BBC iPlayer


Watchable on BBC iPlayer: CLICK HERE