McKellen picked up the award for 'outstanding contribution to Showbusiness', while Old Vic artistic director Spacey was honoured for his 'outstanding contribution to British Theatre'. Other winners on the night included Michael Sheen, who was named the Film Actor of the Year, while comedian Michael McIntyre won the Comedy Award.
The Variety Club Showbusiness Awards, now in their 57th year, are held to raise significant funds for and awareness of the work The Variety Club undertakes to help sick, disabled and disadvantaged children and young people. Celebrating its Diamond Jubilee this year, the Variety Club has raised over £200 million to improve the lives of children and young people since its inception.
Receiving his award, Ian McKellen said: “There are some awards being given but thank goodness it's not an award show where lists are drawn up to see if the name is finally drawn out of the hat. There's much less tension here and people are just out having a good time and celebrating.”
This year's awards ceremony will be broadcast on Five on Sunday 22 November at 3.35pm. For a full list of winners and further information about The Variety Club, visit www.varietyclub.org.uk.