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article imageTV knights in shining amour? Or just plain vicious?

By Andrew John     Apr 29, 2013 in Entertainment
Two of the UK’s best-known theatrical knights – Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi – will be camping it up like never before tonight, when a new sitcom hits TV screens.
It’s called Vicious and focuses on a gay couple.
McKellen (Lord of the Rings; The Hobbit; Doctor Who) says the show proves that TV “has grown up” and that gay characters are no longer the “figures of fun” they used to be.
“Actorly ham Freddie (Ian McKellen) and swishy Stuart (Derek Jacobi) have been cattily in love for 48 years,” says Britain’s foremost TV listings magazine Radio Times.
“While activists might cavil over stereotyping, there’s no denying that the spectacle of two of our finest knights of the theatre camping it up is absolutely hilarious. Along with Frances de la Tour [Private Peaceful; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1] as their voracious mate, Violet, they make every line a zinger. Creators Gary Janetti (Will & Grace; Family Guy) and Mark Ravenhill [Shopping and F***ing; Mother Clap’s Molly House] have a sure-fire hit on their hands.”
In the first episode, Freddie and Stuart host a wake to mark the death of someone close to them.
The two men manage to create “an awkward evening of biting insults and very little food,” says Radio Times. Meanwhile, their best friend Violet spends the occasion flirting with a much younger man played by Iwan Rheon (Misfits; Grandma’s House).
Unbelievable cast
Janetti told Radio Times last November, when the show was announced: “I’m incredibly excited to be working with ITV and this unbelievable cast!”
ITV’s director of comedy and Entertainment, Myfanwy Moore, said at the same time: “ITV is thrilled this exciting and bold sitcom, with stellar performers and writing talent, is to join the increasing slate of new look comedy shows on the channel.”
Both lead actors are in their seventies and are gay. Jacobi (Doctor Who; The King’s Speech; Endgame) has been in a steady relationship for 36 years. McKellen lives alone.
Jacobi tells the Radio Times print edition: “I didn’t co-habit until I was 39. I was very happy living with myself, and then suddenly somebody came into my life whom I decided to share it with.”
McKellen says: “I live on my own, but I’m absolutely reliant on my sister, Jean. I have never really learnt how to do some fairly basic things like booking a flight. I’m very happy for somebody else to keep the diary […] I do have a lot of single friends, straight and gay […] I’m out all the time, I have friends around all the time […] no, not lonely for a minute.”
The series runs for six episodes.
More about Ian mckellen, Derek Jacobi, Vicious, Sitcom, gary janetti
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