Sir Ian McKellen has celebrated the 30th anniversary since he came out as gay.

The 78-year-old actor openly spoke about his sexuality during an interview on BBC Radio in 1988 at the age of 48, and to mark three decades since ''life began to make sense'', the star has taken to Twitter to post a moving tweet.

He wrote: ''I've never met a gay person who regretted coming out - including myself. Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest. Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publically said I was gay. So I'm celebrating! (sic)''

Fans were quick to support the 'Lord of the Rings' actor, who has long been an activist for the LGBT community, with some even drawing inspiration from his rallying words.

One fan told him: ''Ian I am coming out to my family tomorrow. I hope my life will make sense as you say. I hope I could be as brave as you.''

Whilst another claimed the star gave them the ''courage'' to speak to their loved ones about their sexuality.

They wrote: ''When I was 16, I watched an interview with you and Sir Patrick Stewart where you talked about coming out. A few days later, I came out to my friends and family and I've never regretted it for a second. Thank you for inspiring me and giving me courage.''

Despite being one of Britain's most celebrated actors, McKellen claims he is still occasionally subjected to homophobic abuse but insisted he doesn't let it bother him, as he knows he's a macho man because he prefers the company of other guys.

He said previously: ''I think gay men are more masculine than straight men. Because, guess what? They love other men! So when bully boys say, 'Faggot!' you say, 'That's right, I'm with the boys.'''