EW's Special Coverage

'Harry Potter' Central

News Article

Rue Britannia

''Harry Potter'' author to guest on ''Simpsons'' -- J.K. Rowling and Sir Ian McKellen will appear in an England-set episode

Maybe J.K. Rowling can call her sixth book ''Harry Potter and the Four-Fingered Tourists.'' That is, if she's inspired by her up-close-and-personal encounter with the Simpson family. Her spokesperson tells Reuters that the author has lent her voice to a guest appearance on a future episode of ''The Simpsons'' that has the Springfield clan visiting England. ''Lord of the Rings'' star Sir Ian McKellen will also appear in the episode, according to British newspaper The Sun.

The paper quotes ''Simpsons'' producer Don Payne as saying the episode sends the family to England to find a woman 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,'' Payne tells the Sun. The family then catches McKellen in a stage performance of ''Macbeth,'' but Homer violates theatrical superstition by saying the play's name aloud, causing the actor to be hit by a falling scaffold and struck by lightning. (D'oh!)

Series creator Matt Groening is even trying to get Prime Minister Tony Blair to play himself, the Sun reports. ''We're very excited about the episode,'' Payne tells the paper, ''and rest assured every British cliché will be trotted out to get a laugh.''

Originally posted Feb 26, 2003