TV & Showbiz

Sir Ian McKellen goes misty-eyed telling lovely Manchester anecdote on hit podcast

He told hosts John Bishop and Tony Pitts about a heartwarming exchange with a local taxi driver.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 12th December 2022

Sir Ian McKellen got a bit tearful while describing an encounter he had on a recent trip to Manchester.

The beloved actor and national treasure – originally from Burnley – appeared on the Three Little Words podcast, hosted by John Bishop and Tony Pitts.

He was there to talk about the three words that mean the most to him, a running theme of the podcast.

One of the words that Sir Ian chose was ‘love’ – and it was an unlikely encounter here in Manchester that he chose to use as his example.

The Lords of the Rings legend went all misty-eyed and covered his hands with his face while he was describing an encounter he had with a local taxi driver.


And John and Tony were also looking a bit doe-eyed staring back at him too.

Sir Ian said: “If you ever arrive in Manchester, if you’re lucky enough to be able to afford the train fare, you come down the steps at Piccadilly, and if you’re lucky enough to be able to afford a taxi, you get in the back of one, and the taxi driver, usually a man but not always, says: ‘Where you going to love?’”


At this point in the story, Ian takes a huge sniff and starts to mock-sob, before saying: “Oh, and I feel I’m home.”

He then continues, with his hands cupping his face: “Where grown men call strangers ‘love’. I think if we all did that, it would be a rather better place wouldn’t it?

“And when people have got problems with gender, and pronouns, and so on, ‘love’ covers everyone really. Just call everyone ‘love’. 


You can watch the full clip here:

“That’s why I chose love.”

After sharing the clip on Instagram, Tony Pitts was quickly flooded with messages praising Ian for his lovely observation of our home city.

One person wrote: “So true.. My grandpa ( rest his soul) called everyone Love. It was always a good feeling to hear him say it. After seeing this I will say it more often.”

Read more

Another person commented, with a bee emoji: “We do things differently.”


Someone else said: “He is just precious, love him so much.”

One commented: “So true, definitely feel like you’re home when that happens.”

You can listen to the full Three Little Words episode with Sir Ian McKellen at Amazon Music here.

Featured image: Amazon Music