Ian McKellen reads Shakespeare sonnet for Patrick Stewart’s 80th birthday

Sir Ian McKellen paid tribute to Sir Patrick Stewart by reading one of Shakespeare’s sonnets for the X-Men star’s 80th birthday.

Sir Patrick has been keeping fans entertained throughout lockdown with his daily poem reading on social media.

He celebrated his birthday on Monday and to mark the occasion his old friend Sir Ian took over, reading Sonnet 81 in a video shared on Sir Patrick’s Twitter account.

The poem was first published in a quarto titled Shakespeare’s Sonnets in 1609 and explores death and what legacy the poet will leave behind.

After reading the sonnet, Sir Ian, 81, said: “And a very happy birthday dear Patrick. Lots of love, Ian.”

Sir Patrick began his daily readings in March as the world entered a coronavirus-enforced lockdown and said he intends to read all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

On the eve of his birthday, he read sonnet 80 and said: “I had not realised that we were at a rather significant point in these sonnets. We just passed the halfway mark.

“There are still 74 to go. But not only are we at the halfway mark, we are at the point of Sonnet 80. And that has special meaning for me, because tomorrow, I am 80.”