Covid: Sir Ian McKellen praises NHS after first dose of Pfizer vaccine

Sir Ian McKellen has praised the NHS saying he wants to "give them all a big hug" after having his first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

The Lord of Rings actor said: "Next time I come, well no, six days after I next come I'm going to give them all a big hug - is that allowed? I don't know."

He added: "That's the real bonus of all this, to watch and see what works in this country and what doesn't work - and it seems to me the NHS is right at the top of the list for institutions that do work."

"Of course, I know I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for the NHS. I'm a little bit older than the NHS but when I was a kid, having good medical treatment available when it was needed - what a wonderful notion," he continued.

Speaking of the vaccination, he said: "It is invasive of course, it looks like a weapon - a needle - but it isn't, it's a friend!"

The 81-year old also urged others to get the Covid-19 jab if they could.

"I would encourage everybody to do the sensible thing, not just for themselves but for everybody else because if you're virus-free that helps everybody else, doesn't it?"