Gay actor Sir Ian McKellen is to receive a lifetime achievement award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

The ceremony, which opens this week, will honour the Lord of the Rings star with the festival’s Golden Bear Award, according to reports in the Hollywood Reporter

Sir Ian is a flim, tv and theatre icon with roles in top productions, mainstream blockbusters and small independent films. He also co founded gay rights group, Stonewall in 1989 in reaction to Section 28.

The Berlin Film Festival opens tomorrow and runs until the 19th February.

The festival is known for its celebration of gay films, with the Teddy award given to the best gay film every year.