A SOUTHAMPTON pub were treated to a surprise visit by a Lord Of The Rings legend yesterday.

Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in the film trilogy, came into The Hobbit Pub, on Bevois Valley Road, as they opened where he took pictures with fans.

Stella Roberts, the manager of The Hobbit, said: "Members of staff said he was amazing, so nice and just lovely. He said he liked the pub very much and I am gutted I missed him."

She added: "It is not everyday Gandalf walks into The Hobbit."

Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry helped support the pub in 2012 when Saul Zaentz Company accused it of copyright infringement by using the name "The Hobbit" and other JRR Tolkien characters and film images in the pub. Ian McKellen described the film company's actions as "unnecessary pettiness".