Sir Ian McKellen says coming out as gay improved his life and work

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13:   Sir Ian McKellen attends a photocall for
Sir Ian McKellen came out in 1988. (Dave Benett/WireImage)

Sir Ian McKellen has said coming out as gay improved both his relationships and his work as he "wasn't hiding anymore".

The X-Men star opened up about his sexuality in 1988, when he was in his 40s.

Speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show, the star said it “utterly” changed his life.

“I discovered myself,” said the 81-year-old.

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“And everything was better. My relationships with my family, with friends, with strangers, and my work got better as I wasn’t hiding any more.

“Up to that point, my acting had really been about disguise and then, when I could feel I was myself, it came about telling the truth, which was much more interesting.”

ARCHIVO – En esta fotografía de archivo del 30 de octubre de 2019 Sir Ian McKellen posa en una sesión de la película
Sir Ian McKellen says coming out improved his life. (Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

The Lord Of The Rings actor said when he was younger there was the worry that if he had said he was gay he “could have risked being prosecuted”.

But he said now it’s out in the open he never stops talking about it, joking that he’s "making up for lost time".

Jonathan Ross at the ITV Palooza at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Sir Ian McKellen is on Jonathan Ross's show. (Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Sir Ian first confirmed his sexuality during a chat on the radio 33 years ago.

In 2018 he celebrated the 30th anniversary of that moment by tweeting: “I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself.

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"Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest.

"Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publically said I was gay.

"So I’m celebrating!”

The Jonathan Ross Show airs on ITV at 9.35pm on Saturday night.

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