Two long years since the first instalment of the Hobbit trilogy whet audiences’ appetites with dwarfs, wizards, dragons, fighting and, of course, a hobbit, the concluding cinematic experience has finally arrived.

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen takes on the role of Gandalf for the final time

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hits cinema screens tonight and so does everyone’s favourite wizard, Gandalf the Grey.

And with Gandalf comes everyone’s favourite British acting legend, Sir Ian McKellen.

For the star of The X Men series, this will be his sixth appearance in an epic directed by Peter Jackson as the great wizard.

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Speaking in an interview about his character, he describes how Gandalf is "sent down to Middle Earth to sort it out."

He said: "Even if he is off screen, you feel as if he is there and looking at what is going on."

The 75-year-old actor goes on to describe how he likes the fact that the Tolkien stories are "rather moral tales."

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He said: "The characters, human or not, have human qualities and they’re capable of love and capable of hatred and they’re capable of ambition. "Gandalf on the whole is on the side of the positive. He wants to say "let’s get on, peace not war".

"But he’s always got an eye on the fact some elves, some dwarfs and some hobbits even can behave badly."

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies is out in the UK on December, 12 and in the US on December, 17.