Style & ShowbizShowbiz

Sir Ian McKellen nearly turned down knighthood

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Sir Ian McKellen nearly turned down knighthood

Sir Ian McKellen considered turning down his knighthood as he felt the system is "a bit unfair".

The 'Lord of the Rings' star was given the honour by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in 1991 but he has admitted he nearly refused to accept it as he felt there were many people omitted from the list.

He told the Daily Mail's Weekend magazine: "Frankly, I don't think we should have titles, really. It's a very strange system isn't it? Actors are more likely to get them than fire chiefs or people who have spent their lives doing charity work, which is a bit unfair, isn't it?

"I was in two minds about it, I liked being Mr McKellen. And if we all said no, it would stop."

However, after consulting with three friends, Ian decided he should accept the "alluring" honour.

Meanwhile, Ian previously revealed he thought he was being pranked when he received a call from the offices of the Prime Minister of Britain to tell him he had been recommended for the honour.

Recalling the conversation, he said: "Now the phone rang: 'This is 10 Downing Street'. I thought it was a colleague having a joke but no: 'The Prime Minister has been trying to reach you. She has it in mind ... to recommend that the Queen give you a knighthood.'

"Flummoxed, I asked for time to think it over."