Sir Ian McKellen set for ITV gay sitcom

Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi Stage and screen veterans McKellen and Jacobi will play a couple who have lived together for nearly 50 years

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Veteran British actors Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi are teaming up to play a bickering gay couple in a new ITV1 sitcom.

Vicious has been created by Will and Grace writer Gary Janetti and award-winning playwright Mark Ravenhill.

The show, to air next year, will also feature Rising Damp actress Frances De La Tour as their feisty best friend.

Sir Ian will play ageing actor Freddie who has lived in a cramped flat with Sir Derek's Stuart for nearly 50 years.

Their worlds are turned upside down when a young man called Ash moves in upstairs.

Writer and co-producer Janetti, who has also worked on award-winning US comedy Family Guy, said he was "incredibly excited" to be working with "this unbelievable cast".

ITV's comedy commissioning editor, Myfanwy Moore, said the broadcaster was "thrilled this exciting and bold sitcom, with stellar performers and writing talent is to join the increasing slate of new look comedy shows on the channel".

Next month Sir Ian will be seen reprising the role of wizard Gandalf in Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The film, which co-stars Martin Freeman, Elijah Wood and Benedict Cumberbatch, is due in UK cinemas on 14 December.

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