Sir Ian McKellen has warned his fans of a “fraudulent impersonator” who has been offering private signings while pretending to be the actor.
The 82-year-old apologised to anyone who has sent items in the hope of having them signed by him, and said the fake promoter has offered to refund those affected.
Sir Ian confirmed he has never done paid signings and only does signings for charity or for people who send things to him directly.
A statement from Sir Ian said: “I have been made aware that a man impersonating me and two women posing as my representatives have recently approached a promoter in Kent, with the offer of a ‘private signing’ by Ian McKellen.
“I am very sorry for anyone who has sent in photos and items to be signed by this fraudulent impersonator.
“I understand that the promoter has offered to make refunds as soon as possible.
“To be clear, I have never attended paid signings. I do sign for charity and for individuals who submit items directly to me.”
The acclaimed stage and screen actor has developed a huge fan base during his career from starring in a host of popular franchises, including playing Gandalf in the Lord Of The Rings series and Magneto in the X-Men universe.
He is also a veteran theatre star who has featured in many productions and most recently returned to the stage last year as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, 50 years after first playing the doomed Danish prince.