Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench may hold the classiest titles around, but the two are definitely rascals at heart. On a visit to The Graham Norton Show alongside Carey Mulligan, Michael Buble and Taron Egerton, the 79-year-old actor revealed the mischief he got up to with his 83-year-old friend - which almost landed him in big trouble with palace police! "Judi Dench and I were once at a dinner at Buckingham Palace," he explained. "Once the banquet was over we followed music into another room that looked vaguely familiar. We were dancing around when we realized it was the throne room."
But just stepping foot in the storied room wasn't enough for the Macbeth costars - they were eager to find the lavish seats. "There was no one else there and no sign of the thrones so we went in search and when we found them behind a screen, we sat on them!" he said, to the delight of Graham and his colleagues. "Buckingham Palace brings out the worst in you."
But he didn't always get away with his royal shenanigans, as the Tony award winner had another tale to tell. "I was doing a concert and was given a dressing room right next to the balcony and decided to have a fag on it," he said. Royal fans will know the iconic balcony right away as it's where the Royal Family gathers to watch the flypast during Trooping the Colour, not to mention where Prince William and Kate kissed after their royal wedding.
"I was standing out there smoking with a view of The Mall," he continued, "when there was a search light on me and a policeman down below shouted up, 'Sir Ian, don't forget you're in Buckingham Palace!'" And the moment was so unforgettable that security remembered him months after. "Six months later I was there to get a medal and as I walked through the gate with a friend the same policeman said, 'Not you two again!'"
Sir Ian, who was knighted by the Queen in 1991, will embark on a solo tour in the new year, performing on 80 stages across the UK in honour of his 80th birthday. Hailed as "a mixture of anecdote and acting," each show's profits will go to a different cause selected by each venue - each of which can expect just a few antics backstage!