ACTOR Sir Ian McKellen picked up an honorary degree from St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, wearing his old Bolton School tie.

The star of The Lord of the Rings and X-Men read English at the college and was President of the Marlowe Society in 1960 and 1961.

In addition to winning countless awards for his work on stage and screen, Sir Ian was recognised for co-founding Stonewall, a lobby group which has campaigned for legal and social equality for gay people.

He was made an OBE in 1979 and was subsequently knighted in 1991.

Born in Burnley, Sir Ian attended Bolton School in the 1950s.