Sir Ian McKellen has won an accolade to rival his collection of Academy Awards - which celebrity we would most trust to run our local pub. The award-winning actor and gay activist is most trusted to pull pints, according to figures released at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival, running this week at Olympia London.
One in four (25%) of those surveyed by YouGov who expressed an opinion on behalf of CAMRA said they would trust McKellen to run their local - which is good news for patrons of the Grapes in East London, currently owned in part by the actor. McKellen became a leaseholder of the Grapes in 2012 when the previous licensee decided to retire from running the 500 year old pub.
Neil Morrissey of Men Behaving Badly came in a tight second, with one in five (21%) of those surveyed trusting him to pull pints. A lover of real ale, Morrissey recently reopened the Plume of Feathers, a village pub in Barlaston.
Other British celebrities who own pubs also featured in the list, with BBC Presenter Chris Evans securing 12% of the population’s vote, singer-songwriter James Blunt 10%, celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal 6% and cricketer Stuart Broad 4%.
Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Chairman, said, “It is a mark of how important a local pub can be to see so many British celebrities decide to run their own local pub after many years of global and national achievements.
“Running a pub is not just a business venture, it is providing a vital service to a local area. We are seeing more and more people take on and run their local pub, either on their own or through community ownership, some even diversifying to offer other services, such as allotments, a village store or post office. It’s fantastic to see such strong support for the industry, and we hope the Government will recognise this by cutting taxes on our local to help keep them open.”