Gay actor Sir Derek Jacobi is to star in one of the largest ever advertising campaigns that Sony have run in the UK. The advertisement will be first screened this coming weekend during the advertising breaks on ITV’s The X Factor.

The openly gay actor starred in television dramas ‘I Claudius’ and Brother Cadfael. He appears in the Sony advertisements as Ebenezer Scrooge as part of the electronic giant’s “VAT back” offer on products sold during Christmas, in advance on the increase in VAT that will occur next January.

Sir Derek entered into a civil partnership with Richard Clifford, his partner of 27 years, in 2006.

Earlier this year, Sir Derek played Cardinal John Henry Newman in a BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play, broadcast shortly before the beautification of Cardinal Newman. Cardinal Newman was buried with Ambrose St John, who he lived and worked with for more than thirty years, recently scholars and gay rights activists have claimed they were engaged in a celibate same-sex relationship.