Ian McKellan raps Little Britain

Gay portrayals 'aren't helpful'

Sir Ian McKellen has slammed Little Britain for fuelling gay prejudices.

The Lord Of The Rings actor says characters such as Matt Lucas’s ‘only gay in the village’ Dafydd promote a camp, stereotypical image of homosexuality.

He said: ‘I have to confess that I am a little disquieted at times by the way that gays are portrayed, particularly on television.

‘The idea of camp can be misleading. Something like Little Britain is not particularly helpful. I know Matt Lucas will say that he is gay and it is not offensive but I don't think it gets the right message across. If you are gay you don’t have to be camp.’

The 70-year-old actor was speaking to pupils at Sudbury Upper School in Suffolk at an event organised by gay rights group Stonewall.

He also said he was saddened that the word ‘gay’ had come to be a term of abuse, saying: ‘This is something which education can help to resolve. Either that or we choose another word to describe ourselves. I rather like another G word – glorious.”’

Despite his comments, Lucas and McKellen are friends. The Shakespearean actor was in the first-night audience when the Little Britain star made his debut in the West End production, Prick Up Your Ears, and they posed for pictures together afterwards.

Published: 1 Dec 2009

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