Bristol Uni student dressed as Gandalf ‘flabbergasted’ after meeting Ian McKellen

Ben told The Bristol Tab: ‘It was like the universe giving me a birthday present’

Bristol Uni student Ben Coyle had the birthday surprise of his life last week whilst out with his mates on a Lord of the Rings-themed pub crawl.  

Dressed as Gandalf the Grey, Ben turned onto Corn Street to find none other than Sir Ian McKellen, the actor who played the wizard. A moment of pure magic, some might say. 

Sporting the iconic wizard’s hat and cloak of Gandalf, Ben managed to snap a photo with his hero despite being stunned at the entire affair.  

Ben told The Bristol Tab: “My initial reaction, and reaction for the rest of the evening was shock! None of us were expecting him to appear and the fact that he did and had the time to have a bit of a chat and to wish me a happy birthday was spectacular!

“I’ve been a fan for ages and my entire family love Lord of the Rings, so this was like the universe giving me a birthday present!”  

McKellen was in Bristol to perform in the pantomime The Mother Goose at the Hippodrome, which had its final show on Sunday.

Whilst Ben remained in a state of shock, his friend Scarlet took a video of the encounter and posted it to TikTok, where it has gained over 800k likes and over 2000 comments, many of which share in Ben’s amazement. 

One user commented: “This is like getting struck by lightning”, with another adding “I would simply pass away”. 

Referencing the legendary wizard’s famous words, one Lord of the Rings super-fan commented: “A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to”. 

Featured image credit via @Faria Anzum via Unsplash and @scarletlearmouth via TikTok

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