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'Letter to Brezhnev' stars reunite in Liverpool

It was the low-budget Liverpool film that became an unlikely hit and helped create a new industry in the city.

'Letter to Brezhnev' is being re-released by the British Film Institute.

To celebrate, its stars Peter Firth, Alexandra Pigg and Margi Clarke have been reunited in the city - more than 30 years after it was first released.


Take That return to Manchester to launch new musical

Last week Take That made an emotional return to a very special venue in Manchester to launch their brand new musical. The new musical 'The Band', is a show based on their biggest hits. Take That won't be appearing in the musical but it will feature all of their famous songs, including Could it be Magic and many more. Our Entertainment Correspondent Caroline Whitmore joined them.

Sir Ian McKellen reveals why he turned down Dumbledore role in Potter films

Sir Ian McKellen Credit: PA

Sir Ian McKellen has said he could never have taken over the role of Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films after the death of Richard Harris because he knew Harris disapproved of him as an actor.

Harris died in 2002 after starring in the first two films in the franchise and was replaced by Michael Gambon for the rest of the series.

Richard Harris played Professor Dumbledore in the first two films Credit: Warner Bros/PA

Wigan born McKellen has previously said he was approached for a role in the wizarding saga but has now revealed he could never have succeeded Harris because of how he felt about him.

Harris once described McKellen, Derek Jacobi and Kenneth Branagh as "technically brilliant but passionless".

During a recording of a special episode of BBC interview show HARDtalk to mark its 20th anniversary, McKellen, best known for his portrayal of Gandalf, dismissed Harris's criticisms as "rubbish".

When they called me up and said would I be interested in being in the Harry Potter films, they wouldn't say what part but I worked out what they were thinking. I couldn't take over the part from an actor who I know disapproved of me."

– Sir Ian McKellen
Credit: PA

McKellen also spoke about how his sexuality has affecting his career, saying he believes he might have had more success as an actor earlier on if he had come out sooner.

The openly gay star only publicly spoke about his sexuality in 1988, 22 years after it was decriminalised.

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