Sir Ian McKellen almost had Emmerdale role but Coronation Street boss banned him

Sir Ian McKellen almost had Emmerdale role but Coronation Street boss banned him

Sir Ian McKellen almost appeared on Emmerdale, but unfortunately, Coronation Street’s creator prevented the casting.

While appearing on This Morning last year, Sir Ian, now 85, spoke about his master plan to appear in every soap playing the same character.

The idea began to formulate when he appeared in ten episodes of Coronation Street in 2005 as con artist Lionel Hipkiss, who pretended to be an author called Mel Hutchwright.

Lionel caused havoc when he tried to trick the street’s book club into funding the publishing of his nonexistent novel, but luckily Ken Barlow (William Roache) exposed him in the nick of time.

Sir Ian told hosts Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond that he has ‘happy’ memories of his time on the soap, and it inspired him to delve further into the soap world.

‘I was playing a conman, and I was found out so I can never go back as that character as they’ll know who I am. I had the idea that I might go into other soaps as the same character,’ he explained.

Fellow ITV soap Emmerdale was on board initially, and he even started the process of convincing BBC’s Eastenders to get involved too.

‘I got onto Emmerdale and they said: “Yes, we’re up for it”. I was just going to call up Eastenders, and say: “Can I just be a character sitting in the Queen Vic?”‘Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen on This Morning in 2023
However, the late Tony Warren, who created Coronation Street, didn’t approve and forced Ian to abandon his idea.

‘Tony Warren who invented Coronation Street said “Absolutely not, the soaps do not recognise each other and you may not be that character anywhere else”.’

In response to the anecdote, both Dermot and Alison told Ian that it was ‘a shame,’ and praised him for the unique idea.

‘Wouldn’t it be good?’ Sir Ian concluded. Well, it’s never too late!

On June 17, 2024, it was reported Sir Ian was rushed to hospital after a dramatic fall during a performance of Player Kings at the Noël Coward Theatre in London.

Sir Ian McKellen on the Coronation Street cobbles
The star reportedly stumbled during an intense fight scene, causing him to fall off the stage.

According to an update from a representative for the theatre, the actor is expected to make a full and speedy recovery and is not badly injured.Sir Ian McKellen on This Morning in 2023

The incident occurred during a battle sequence between his character, John Falstaff, and the Prince of Wales and Henry Percy.

After Sir Ian lost his footing and tumbled from the stage, the house lights quickly came up, and he was heard crying out in pain.

Theatre staff and medical personnel promptly attended to the actor.

Following the accident, the audience was evacuated and informed that the evening show was cancelled and their tickets would be refunded.

Sir Ian McKellen

An update from a representative for Player Kings sent Metro.co.uk the following statement: ‘Thank you to our audience and the general public for their well wishes following Ian’s fall during this evening’s performance of Player Kings.

‘Following a scan, the brilliant NHS team have assured us that he will make a speedy and full recovery and Ian is in good spirits.

‘The production has made the decision to cancel the performance on Tuesday 18 June so Ian can rest. Those affected will be contacted by their point of purchase as soon as possible tomorrow.

‘Thank you to doctors Rachel and Lee who were on hand in the audience and to all the venue staff for their support.’

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