Gay actor Sir Ian McKellen has managed to overrule the Pentagon’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy after being made am honorary lieutenant colonel of the national guard.

US military policy dictates that lesbian and gay recruits must keep their sexuality hidden, but the openly gay star was recently given the honour on a trip to Atlanta, Georgia.

Sir Ian, a patron for many gay causes, told the New York Daily News, “I was in Atlanta doing press for The Da Vinci Code – and they wanted to honour me. The governor made me a lieutenant colonel.

“So the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ rule obviously doesn’t apply to me. I have a lovely certificate hanging in my office.

“So inadvertently, they made me the poster child for having openly gay people in the military.”

Earlier this month, the award winning actor told an audience at the EuroPride Rally in Trafalgar Square, London, “Apparently we cannot call ourselves gay anymore because it means rubbish in the street, why don’t we find a new word, what about gorgeous?”