In an age where people devour whole seasons of television shows in a single evening, Ian would much rather go out for a nice meal than spend a night in front of the box.

“No. I can’t start watching television. There’s too much of it, you would never do anything else,” he shrugged to Britain’s ShortList magazine. “I’m way behind what’s popular. I’m amazed people have the time. The commitment! I like a one-off film or a play that’s over in two hours, but the thought that I’ve got another 10 episodes to go and that’s only the first series... I just blank out and think, ‘Sorry, I shan’t…’ I’ve never seen Game Of Thrones."

As well as shunning the fantasy series, Ian, 76, also admits he’s never caught an episode of multi award winning The Sopranos. The show, led by late actor James Gandolfini, and Game of Thrones both make IMDB’s top 10 rated TV programmes, along with other favourites like Breaking Bad and Band of Brothers.

“Yes, well, so were the walks I went on and the meals I ate and the people I was introduced to while you were sitting at home watching the television!” he said when ShortList commented on how good The Sopranos is.

Despite his aversion to TV, Ian has dabbled in the medium over the years - most recently with Derek Jacobi in British comedy Vicious.

However the actor, twice nominated for an Oscar, remains best known for his powerful big screen performances, like wizard Gandalf in Lord of the Rings and Magneto in the X-Men franchise.

“If it’s young people coming up to me – teenagers and younger – it will be Gandalf. And probably Dumbledore (from Harry Potter), which is a part I didn’t play,” he said of what he’s most recognised for.

“One wizard is much like another. There are lots of wizards around, aren’t there?”

Dumbledore was played by Richard Harris in the first two Harry Potter movies, before Michael Gambon took the role over after Harris' death in 2002.