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McKellen Given Freedom Award For Charity Work

The Lord Of The Rings star received the honour at Guildhall in the capital.

Sir Ian is one of the founders of campaign group Stonewall UK and also supports Pride London and The Albert Kennedy Trust, which helps homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youngsters.

Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf, who nominated the Burnley-born actor, said: "Sir Ian is an exceptional actor of international acclaim, whose repertoire ranges from Shakespeare and Pinter to Hollywood blockbusters and situation comedy.

"He is also a tireless campaigner for equality, for which I have the greatest admiration, so it is entirely appropriate that we honour his achievements."

The tradition of the freedom of the city is believed to date back to 1237.

Sir Ian is currently starring in the music video for George Ezra's single Listen To The Man.

© Sky News, 2014