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Sir Ian McKellen 'fell in love' with John Bishop after 'snogging' him in pantomime

The pair toured Mother Goose together.

Sir Ian McKellen as a guest on The One Show. (BBC)
Sir Ian McKellen as a guest on The One Show. (BBC)

What Did You Miss?

The One Show played host to Sir Ian McKellen and Lorraine Kelly today (13 February).

Lord of the Rings legend McKellen was in the studio to discuss his latest theatrical role, but co-host Alex Jones was keen to cast their minds back to the 2022/2023 pantomime season, when the 84-year-old acted opposite comedian John Bishop in Mother Goose.

Its storyline saw Mother Goose (McKellen) and husband Vic (Bishop) running an animal sanctuary while living inside a disused Debenhams. When a magical goose turned up, fame and fortune wasn't all it's cracked up to be.

Reminiscing about their time on stage together, McKellen admitted he "fell in love" with Bishop.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: (L-R) Sir Ian McKellen, Jodie Whittaker and John Bishop pose after the matinee performance of
McKellen and John Bishop backstage with Jodie Whittaker at Duke of York's Theatre. (David M. Benett/Alan Chapman/Getty Images)

What, how and why?

"We know your range, Ian, is absolutely insane. It goes from Shakespeare all the way to pantomime of course. Mother Goose with John Bishop - John Bishop was your husband, now that must've been a lot of fun," shared Jones, initially.

Laughing, the Hollywood guest replied: "I rather fell in love with John, well everybody does...

"Mother Goose is the great Dame part because she's right at the center of it all, it's all about her really, and I wanted to do what they used to do when I was a kid. Big pantomimes would start on Boxing Day and run right through to Easter Saturday, and I said let's see if we can do that and stop pantomime being just a local Christmas event. We had a ball."

Then came a lovely surprise in the shape of a video message sent by Bishop.

He said to the camera: "Ian it's me. I just wanna wish you all the best for the play, I'm really looking forward to seeing it. I think the last time anyone was speaking Shakespeare to you on a stage was me doing a sonnet to you, Mother Goose, and then snogging you afterwards.

"So I think Player Kings will be good but it's not gonna be as good as snogging me, let's be honest," he joked. "Speak to you soon, God bless."

A bowled-over McKellen told Jones and co-host Jermaine Jenas: "That is the most wonderful present, thank you very very much!"

John Bishop recorded a video message for his friend. (BBC)
John Bishop recorded a video message for his friend. (BBC)

What else happened on The One Show?

Following this heartwarming turn of events, McKellen then revealed that he'd only just begun taking down his Christmas tree - observing the rule that if you don't get all of your festive decorations packed away by the twelfth night, you must wait until Shrove Tuesday.

Talkshow host Kelly was also on hand to promote her upcoming novel, The Island Swimmer.

"At the heart of it there's a girl who has to leave her home - there's a big twist, you find out later why she has to leave, it's quite traumatic - she has to come to London," she said.

"She's here for a long time, for 20 years, because of what's happened to her she feels she doesn't deserve anything so she gets into a really bad relationship, she lets herself go. Then she has to come back to Orkney and it's about rebuilding relationships, it's about sibling rivalry, there's a lot of loss there and there's hope aswell. There's funny bits too and all the way through she's got a fear of water for a very good reason. These amazing women help her, literally hold her up until hopefully at the end she can actually confront that fear."

The One Show airs weekdays on BBC One.

Read more:

Watch: Sir Ian McKellen was asked on the DLR if he was Michael Gambon's ghost