Foreign Office told Sir Ian McKellen 'not to go to Russia'

The Foreign Office has advised Sir Ian McKellen "not to go to Russia" because of the country's homosexuality laws, according to the actor.

Sir Ian, 74, told the Radio Times: "That's why I can't go... they couldn't protect me from those laws.

Sir Ian McKellen arriving for the UK Premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at the Odeon Leicester Square, London Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/Press Association Images

"Two and a half hours from London! In the land of Tchaikovsky, Diaghilev, Rudolf Nureyev - gay artists whose sexuality informed their work."

The actor came out as being gay at the age of 49.