A British comedy legend will host the country’s most prestigious gay awards, it has been announced.

Richard Wilson, best-known for his iconic Victor Meldrew character in One Foot In The Grave, will follow in the footsteps of Sir Ian McKellen as the host of the Stonewall Awards.

“We are absolutely delighted,” said Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall.

“There are many occasions in the past when he might have won one himself.”

Mr Wilson, 72, is currently starring in new BBC TV fantasy drama Merlin.

He has made memorable appearances in several classic British TV shows such as Doctor Who, Some Mothers Do Ave Em, Only When I Laugh, Inspector Morse, Crown Court and even Father Ted.

He is best-known for his portryal of miserable moaner Victor Meldrew in One Foot In The Grave, which ran for six series between 1990 and 2000.

Mr Wilson, who is gay, was awarded an OBE in 1994.

The Stonewall Awards will be held in the Victoria & Albert Museum on November 6th.

Sponsored by Barclays, the awards celebrate people who have had a positive impact on the lives of British lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

Nominees for Entertainer of the Year include Simon Amstell from Never Mind the Buzzcocks, singer Sam Sparro, Maestro winner Sue Perkins, and Queen of Shops host Mary Portas.

thelondonpaper columnist Joshua Hunt, Daily Mirror agony aunt Miriam Stoppard, and Julie Bindel from The Guardian are among the nominees for the Journalist of the Year award.

Tickets for the awards ceremony and reception are still available from the Stonewall website.

Politician of the Year nominees include Justice Minister Maria Eagle, Lib Dem peer Lord Carlile and Green MSP Patrick Harvie.

The awards for Bigot of the Year and Hero of the Year will be voted for by Stonewall supporters.

The other winners will be chosen by a judging panel which includes artist Maggi Hambling, MP Diane Abbott, TV executive Dawn Airey and Coronation Street’s Antony Cotton.