Sir Ian McKellen was caught recycling gifts when he gave a Christmas present back to the same person he received it from.

The veteran actor had a habit of storing items given by friends until the next holiday season, when he would hand them on as his own presents. 

However, the Lord of The Rings star stopped handing out second-hand gifts after an embarrassing incident in which he gave a notebook back to a writer friend who had gifted it to him the previous year. 

"I do have a drawer at home that I put gifts in, that I know I'm not really going to get much use out of, and then around about this time of year, I take them out... (It) is alright as long as you remember who gave it to you in the first place," Sir Ian tells UK chat show host Jonathan Ross. 

"I (have done that before) to a very distinguished writer who gave me a lovely notebook, leather bound and so on which I didn't really need and next Christmas I thought, 'I wonder what I can give her, ooh perfect' and I gave her back the present she'd given me. 

"What I hadn't noticed was that she'd given a very sweet dedication in the front of it. I don't do that anymore." (MWN/WNVROS/LR)

SCREENCAP: Lord of the Rings/New Line Cinema

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