Sir Patrick Stewart has opened up about his close friendship with Sir Ian McKellen – and says he is “flattered” that people often mistakenly believe he is gay.

The star is famed for his long-running friendship with his gay ‘X-Men’ colleague – who officiated his wedding to wife Sunny Ozell in 2013.

Sir Patrick was mistakenly outed by the Guardian in 2014 – when they wrote: “Some gay people, such as Sir Patrick Stewart, think [Ellen] Page’s coming out speech is newsworthy.”

He tweeted the newspaper at the time: “But @guardian I have, like, five or even SEVEN hetero friends and we totally drink beer and eat lots of chicken wings!”

The actor laughed off the incident in an interview with the Advocate, saying: “Quite frankly, I was utterly flattered by that assumption.

“And indeed the first contact I had was from Ian McKellen, who sent me an email saying, ‘Congratulations!’

“And I accepted the congratulations and said, ‘I think this is a very distinctive honor that I’ve been awarded.’

“The Guardian is a newspaper that I love and have tremendous affection for.

“I wasn’t going to get all upset and stuffy about somebody being a little bit careless in their research… or frankly who had looked at some of the evidence and made an assumption.”

Sadly, the actor recently confirmed that neither he or Sir Ian McKellen would appear in the next X-Men film, revealing: “It is going to be looking very much at the earlier lives of all our characters.”

The pair could still appear in other films in the universe, however, like 2016’s rumoured Gambit spinoff.