Certificate shows birth of the blues

SIR Ian McKellen's claim that a blue plaque marking his birthplace was on the wrong house has been contradicted - by his birth certificate.

The stage and screen star, who plays Gandalf in the Lord of the Ring films, said this week that he was certain 25 Scott Park Road, Burnley, was not where he was born.

But Burnley reference library has a copy of the 67-year-old Sir Ian's birth certificate which states he was born at the house.

Local historian Ken Spencer, who helps out at the library, said he got a copy of Sir Ian's birth certificate in 2002 when plans for a plaque marking the actor's birthplace was raised.

He said: "The birth certificate clearly states he was born at 25 Scott Park Road.

"We have also checked it out on the electoral roles at the time and it said the McKellens lived there.

"The family did live at another house in Burnley in Westbourne Avenue round about that time, but we do not know why he has said this."

The blue plaque was unveiled on the house in 2003.

But according to his official website Sir Ian, who also recently appeared in the film version of the novel The Da Vinci Code, was born in Burnley General Hospital at 8.30pm on May 25, 1939, and was the son of Denis Murray, a civil engineer, and Margery Lois.

Speaking earlier this week, Sir Ian has said the plaque was in the wrong location.

He said: "They've gone and put the plaque on the wrong house.

"It's something you begin to ponder upon when you reach my age. Where you came from and what it's all about? Where the great meaning of one's heritage lies, things like that.

"We did live there at one point, but I'm certain that's not where I was born. I'm trying to track down the actual house."

By the time of the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 the family, which included Sir Ian's older sister Jean, moved to Wigan before they settled in Bolton.

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