It's hard to believe that 'Lord of the Rings' was released nineteen years ago this year.

For Ian McKellen, however, the story began for him twenty years and one day ago, when he arrived in New Zealand to begin filming 'The Fellowship of the Ring'. To mark the anniversary, the venerable actor released his journal entries from the production, from casting right up to the very final day of filming.

In total, there are some 18 journal entries, all written by McKellen about his time on set, the excitement he felt getting to play Gandalf, talking and acting alongside Christopher Lee, getting to grips with the horses, all of it - it's all there.

There are some genuinely fascinating bits of lore and trivia, especially as you can see how McKellen was to taken by the cast. One entry, for example, talked through the scene where Gandalf and Theoden King pray at the tomb of his son, with McKellen explaining how the great Bernard Hill got into character for it.

It's fascinating stuff, and McKellen's voice and passion really does come across in the writing.