The Hobbit star Ian McKellen to write his life story

The 76-year-old actor loved by fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit has signed a deal to write his memoirs

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Ian McKellen has finally been persuaded to write his life story by publishers.

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The 76-year-old star of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films has sold the book proposal to publishing firm Hachete – and plans to write it himself.

A host of book firms and agents are understood to have been urging him to pen his memoirs for years, detailing a life which began with his childhood in Lancashire and his time at Cambridge University followed by a stellar acting career on stage and in front of the film cameras.

The book is also expected to address his decision in 1988 to go public about his sexuality and become a passionate campaigner for gay rights, according to The Sunday Times which claims he has been paid close to £1m for the publishing deal.

McKellen can currently be seen in the film Mr Holmes.

Set in 1947 he plays a retired Sherlock Holmes living in a remote Sussex farmhouse, with only his housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her young son for company.

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Frustrated by being misrepresented in his old sidekick Watson’s best-selling novels, he distracts himself with an unsolved case.