Sir Ian Mckellen was given an insight into the altruistic history of his CHS ancestors during BBC One’s latest episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’?
The leading actor and civil rights champion, known for his roles in plays by Shakespeare and as Gandalf in Lord Of The Rings, was the latest famous face to learn about his family tree for the programme.
Spending time in CHS’s School library, Sir Ian not only discovered his grandfather, W.H. McKellen, attended CHS but also that the School was founded by his great, great grandfather, Robert Lowes - one of the key committee members who raised and donated £4000 in 1868 to help build the School’s main building.
Sir Ian said:“You have to admire Robert’s achievements. If this School hadn’t been endowed by my great, great grandfather, my grandfather W.H. Mckellen wouldn’t have had an education, probably at all.”
He added: “What I’d always hoped was true about the Mckellens was an attitude to life. Doing good and helping other people. And this bright, radical clerk stood up and changed the world. I am proud.”
This is the second time Sir Ian has visited CHS, returning following his recent visit during his Stonewall campaign in which he spoke to the students about equality and met with the CHS's drama and theatre students in Q&A session.
Watch Sir Ian visit CHS in the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on the BBC iPlayer.