British actor Sir Ian McKellen on Saturday led the 25th annual Manchester Gay Pride parade.

McKellen, who is best known for playing Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and Magneto in the X-Men films, publicly announced he's gay in 1988. He currently shares the role of Sherlock Holmes with Nicholas Rowe in the film Mr. Holmes.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast, the 76-year-old McKellen warned that the fight for equality was “not quite over.”

“We can now get married, gay people in this country, but not in Northern Ireland. So, as we celebrate we think, the fight's not quite over,” McKellen said.

When asked how things had changed, McKellen answered: “When I was growing up in Bolton it was illegal to be gay. You could not have sex with somebody of the same gender or you might be put in prison, and I had friends who were!”

“So, we're now in a situation where gay people can marry the person they love. It's been a huge improvement, but it's taken a lot of work.”

“One thing I've taken great pride in with the gay rights movement is there hasn't been any violence. And that's almost unique in the civil rights movement,” he added.