Sir Ian McKellen and J.K. Rowling headed for The Simpsons

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com February 28 2003 12:00 AM ET

The creator of Harry Potter, the world's most popular boy wizard, is set to cast a spell over the cult cartoon show The Simpsons, her spokeswoman said Wednesday. J.K. Rowling will bring a touch of magic to the animated sitcom about the dysfunctional family by appearing as herself in an episode set in England. "I can confirm that she did a voice-over for The Simpsons," the spokeswoman told Reuters. In the episode Rowling will meet beer-guzzling Homer Simpson and his family when they visit England to find a girl with whom Grandpa Simpson had a wartime fling. "The Simpsons bump into J.K. Rowling outside a bookshop, and they talk all about Harry Potter," Don Payne, executive producer of the cult cartoon, told The [London] Sun.

The episode will also feature openly gay Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen, the paper said. The family members go to see him perform Macbeth but bring him bad luck by saying the play's name aloud--in defiance of a well-known theatrical superstition. This leads to the actor's being hit by scaffolding and then struck by lightning.

Rowling and McKellen join dozens of stars such as Paul McCartney and Dustin Hoffman who have lent their voices to the show.