FORMER Bolton School pupil, Sir Ian McKellan, received an honorary doctorate yesterday.

The acclaimed actor collected the honour at the University of Ulster, in Derry, from the university’s chancellor and his co-star in The Hobbit, James Nesbitt.

Sir Ian, who is perhaps best known for his roles in Lord of the Rings and X-Men, also delivered the annual Chancellor’s Lecture, entitled Acting and Activism.

Among those to have delivered the lecture in the past are journalist Jon Snow and Irish president Mary McAleese.

Sir Ian has previously received honorary doctorates from the University of Bath and Lancaster University.