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Entertainment | film

Sir Ian McKellen signs up for Shakespeare-themed London bus tour

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03:  Sir Ian McKellen attends the screening of Sundance Selects' "45 Years" after party hosted by The Cinema Society with Lillet and NARS at Laduree Soho on December 3, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
Sir Ian McKellen will host bus tours across London (Photo: Getty Images)

SIR Ian McKellen will be taking to London’s streets as a bus tour guide much to the delight of Shakespeare enthusiasts.

The Hollywood actor – who has Northern Irish heritage – will host the tours of iconic London locations, which featured in the 1990s film Richard III.

Fans will get the chance to see McKellen, who previously starred in The Hobbit and X-Men, in action at sites including St Pancras station, Battersea Power Station and the building that is now Tate Modern.

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“I’ve always thought it might be fun to take a bus tour around the sites of Richard III,” he said at the BFI on Monday.

“You would watch snippets of the film sitting in the coach and then arrive at the actual location and see it.”

The bus tour forms part of the BFI Presents Shakespeare on Film season, which takes place in April and May, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death.

The events are tipped to form part of the BFI’s biggest ever programme of Shakespeare on screen worldwide.

In reference to the 1995 film’s cast that included Dame Maggie Smith, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Dame Kristen Scott Thomas, Robert Downey Jr and Dominic West, McKellan said: “What a cast we had!”

“Half of Downton Abbey is in it. I was thrilled when Maggie, who is only a little bit older than me, agreed to play my mother.”

BFI’s head curator, Robin Baker, confirmed that the tour would be taking place, however, it’s unclear how many times McKellen will host the tour.

A spokeswoman for the BFI said that it is likely the tours would take place between March 31-May 31, the duration of the project.

For further details please visit the BFI’s website here.

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