Sir Ian McKellen has held a lot of titles in his lifetime: actor, knight, activist and philanthropist are just a few. But now he’s adding a new one to his resumé — tour guide.
As part of the BFI’s Shakespeare on Film programme, launched by McKellen on Monday, a few lucky passengers will get the chance to tour the locations around London from the 1995 film Richard III with McKellen serving as the “chief tour guide.”
“I always thought it might be fun to take a bus tour around the sites of Richard III. You would watch snippets of the film and then arrive at the actual location,” he said. “I want to be the tour leader.”
BFI’s head curator, Robin Baker, confirmed that the tour would be taking place — although it was still uncertain as to how many times McKellen could host it.
The 1995 version of Richard III saw McKellen play the titular role alongside Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent and Robert Downey Jr and was set in a fascist 1930s London. Locations from the film include St Pancras station, Battersea Power Station and the Tate Modern.
“The locations absolutely make the film; that familiarity but yet they feel so unfamiliar and foreboding,” Baker said. “The film really stands the test of time remarkably well.”
The Shakespeare on Film programme will be taking place during April and May to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death, but exact dates for the bus tour have yet to be released.
McKellen fans, keep your fingers crossed and your wallets open.