Sir Ian McKellen awarded Freedom of the City of London

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Actor and gay rights campaigner Sir Ian McKellen has been awarded the honour of Freedom of the City of London.

The X-Men star and Stonewall co-founder was given the award by London’s Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf in a ceremony yesterday.

In addition to regular school visits with Stonewall to combat homophobia, Sir Ian – who was knighted in 1991 – also works on LGBT homelessness with the Albert Kennedy Trust.

Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf said: “It was a privilege to meet Sir Ian at The Mansion House in June this year, when he was guest of honour at the Pride in London Gala Dinner and it was a particular pleasure to announce to the guests, many of whom admire his acting and campaigning work, that he would receive the Freedom of the City of London.

“Sir Ian is an exceptional actor of international acclaim, whose repertoire ranges from Shakespeare and Pinter to Hollywood blockbusters and situation comedy.

“He is also a tireless campaigner for equality, for which I have the greatest admiration, so it is entirely appropriate that we honour his achievements.”

He was first revealed to be receiving the honour at Pride in London in June.

Earlier this week, the star attended the launch of the Warwick Rowers’ latest naked charity calendar.

He said: “I was delighted to be asked, and more than happy to help the boys with the amazing work they are doing through Sport Allies.

“Though I did ask them to make clear on the invitation that I would remain clothed throughout the event.”