The Lord of the Rings and X-men star, who has reprised his role as Gandalf for Peter Jackson’s big screen adaptation of JR Tolkien’s The Hobbit, was speaking to The Daily Mirror newspaper ahead of the  film’s release this week.

“I’ve had prostate cancer for six or seven years,” he told the British paper.

“When you have got it you monitor it and you have to be careful it doesn’t spread. But if is contained in the prostate it’s no big deal.

“Many, many men die from it but it’s one of the cancers that is totally treatable so I have ‘waitful watching’

“I am examined regularly and it’s just contained, it’s not spreading.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released December 13, and stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and is the first part in a new three-part Middle Earth epic from director Peter Jackson.

Photo: Getty.