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  1. Updates on Friday 22 April 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our coverage across the day

Live updates for Coventry and Warwickshire have now ended.

We'll be back on Monday with the usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather.

Follow updates on Shakespeare Live over the weekend here.

Watch: All the world's a stage... BBC tribute to William Shakespeare

In their own tribute to the Bard, BBC News correspondents around the world recite one of his most famous passages.  

Watch: Latest weather for Coventry and Warwickshire

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Any patchy rain will ease away this evening with clear spells becoming lengthy overnight.

A chilly night with patchy frost forming by dawn and lows of 3C (37F).

European Champions Cup semis: Jeremy Guscott on Wasps, Saracens & Leicester

Jeremy Guscott

Rugby union analyst, BBC Sport

English teams fill three of the four semi-final slots, with Wasps and Saracens meeting in the first encounter on Saturday before Leicester take on Parisian big-spenders Racing 92 on Sunday.

So which players could ensure an English side becomes European champions for the first time since Wasps triumphed in 2007?

Wasps winger Christian Wade, Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell and Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi

Latest: Nuneaton robber jailed; motorcylist dies in crash

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

These are some of our headlining stories in the newsroom today:

- Robber jailed after forcing elderly man to cash machine

- Motorcyclist dies in Lillington crash

- Stratford-upon-Avon prepares to welcome thousands for Shakespeare celebrations

Watch: Shakespeare's Stratford - a global attraction

Joan Cummins

Midlands Today reporter

Scores of international journalists and TV crews are descending upon Stratford this week to remember a writer who's been dead for four centuries. 

But why the global attraction?

Watch: Rosie's story of miscarriage ahead of new centre opening

The UK's first national research centre dedicated to early miscarriage opens next week.

Experts at the centre in Coventry will seek to find out why it happens, if it's likely to happen again and how to prevent it.  

It will be known as Tommy's@UHCW and will comprise a partnership between the Universities of Warwick and Birmingham as well as Imperial College London.

View more on twitter

Sir Ian McKellen hails Shakespeare as diversity champion

Sir Ian McKellen has hailed William Shakespeare as an exponent of diversity, ahead of events marking the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death.

Sir Ian McKellen

Shakespeare wrote about black people, he wrote about us all, he wrote about gay people like me, he wrote about women - my goodness, did he write fantastic parts for women! He wrote about leaders, tyrants, people you meet in the pubs, soldiers of all ranks, so the colour of your skin or the culture from which you come from isn't really relevant, but the plays go on being persistently relevant

Sir Ian McKellen

Altar-ed images: Peter Marlow exhibition to open in Coventry

BBC Arts

After a celebrated career in photojournalism and a move into portraiture, renowned photographer and chronicler Peter Marlow died in February this year while completing work on his upcoming exhibition The English Cathedral, which is opening on 29 April in Coventry Cathedral.

Read more on the BBC Arts site.

Coventry Cathedral
Peter Marlow / Magnum Photos

Travel: Vehicle carrying cattle overturns on A46

BBC Travel

A vehicle carrying cattle has overturned on the A46 in Leek Wooton, causing problems both ways near the A429.

More details on BBC Travel.


Follow Shakespeare Live as it happens

The BBC's Shakespeare Lives festival marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare - widely acknowledged as the greatest of all playwrights and the most extensively read and studied author in the English language.   

From 19:00 to 22:00 tonight and again from 08:00 to 23:00 tomorrow, the team will be serving up a Shakespearean banquet of continuous live video coverage from around the UK alongside highlight clips, live text updates and the best of your Bardy chatter on social media.  

David Tennant

Robber jailed after forcing elderly man to cash machine

A robber who broke into an elderly man's home and forced him to walk to a cash machine has been jailed for four years.

Andrew Wilson, 39 of Clovelly Way, Nuneaton, pleaded guilty to robbery and attempted robbery and was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court yesterday.

Andrew Wilson
Warwickshire Police

All the world's a stage.. Even Coventry's Broadgate

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

The cast and crew of our Shakespeare Street production of Romeo and Juliet are making final preparations for tonight's performance.

Crowds will be gathering from 18:30 and the show starts at 19:00.

Appeal after mum and four kittens are dumped in woodland

A tabby cat and her four kittens have been found in Cawston Woods, Coventry, having been dumped there in a plastic container.

Cat and her kittens

The mum has been named Willow and the kittens have been named Oliver, Cherry, Apple and Spruce, after the woodland where they were found.

They are now being looked after in the RSPCA's care and are all doing well.     

It is very sad that a mum and her four vulnerable and defenceless kittens were left out in the open like this, where anything could have happened to them

Nicky FosterRSPCA inspector

Lucas under fire as councillors call for emergency meeting after £175k top job leak

Coventry Observer

Some councillors are demanding an emergency Coventry City Council meeting into who is running the local authority and whether rules have been breached, following this newspaper’s revelations from a leaked email concerning the chief executive’s job.  

Ann Lucas
Coventry Observer

Watch: What is the Shakespeare brand worth to Warwickshire?

He may have died 400 years ago but the Shakespeare brand is keeping the local economy alive.

Wasps name European Semi Final team

Clive Eakin

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

James Haskell will captain the Wasps' team to take on Saracens in the European semi final at the Madejski Stadium tomorrow.

There are two changes to the Wasps’ squad that beat Exeter Chiefs in the European Quarter Final. Lorenzo Cittadini packs down at tighthead, while Bradley Davies starts in the second row alongside Joe Launchbury, with Jake Cooper-Woolley and Kearnan Myall ruled out through injury.  

View more on twitter

Former motorcycle gang member tells jury he did not shoot DJ outside Coventry pub

Coventry Telegraph

A former member of the Outlaws motorcycle group raised his hands towards his head and ducked in the witness box as he told a jury of his reaction to a shot outside a Coventry pub.  

Pro Brexit MP turns ire on Obama

Stratford MP, Nadhim Zahawi, has responded angrily to Barack Obama urging voters in the UK to stay in the European Union.

The President is visiting Britain as part of his farewell tour and will told talks with David Cameron on the EU referendum and other issues in Downing Street.

The Eurosceptic, Conservative MP said if it was a British prime minister commenting on setting up a free trade area in America, "I don't think Americans or their President would like that or take that lightly".

President Obama arriving in the UK
Getty Images

You can follow the President's visit on our live blog here.

Ricoh to host international rugby league

Clive Eakin

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

International rugby league will be played at Coventry's Ricoh Arena for the first time when it hosts two 2016 Four Nations games.

The home to Wasps and Coventry City will stage a double header on Saturday November 5 with England taking on Scotland, followed by Australia v New Zealand.

David Armstrong, Group Chief Executive Officer of Wasps, said securing the Four Nations internationals was part of its strategy since acquiring the Ricoh Arena to put the club and the venue on the global stage as the host of a wide range of sports.

Ricoh Arena
Getty Images

Fans from across the world will be heading to the Ricoh Arena to the double-header which means there will be another positive economic spin-off for the region as well as the opportunity to raise the profile of the Midlands.

David ArmstrongWasps rugby club

Latest: Motorcyclist dies in crash; Ricoh to host international rugby league

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

These are some of our main stories this afternoon: 

- Motorcyclist dies in Lillington crash

- Ricoh Arena to stage two international rugby league matches as part of Four Nations

- Stratford MP responds to President Obama's EU stance

Warning over 'devolution revolution'

Plans for a combined authority to help govern the West Midlands are "untested," a watchdog warns.

Next year, voters in a conurbation of more than three million people, from Wolverhampton to Coventry and from Sparkhill to Solihull, will be asked to elect their first 'metro mayor' - a figure akin to London's Boris Johnson, who would chair a West Midlands Combined Authority.

The government says there has been huge progress in its devolution agenda, but according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report, such a programme in the West Midlands poses "more complex" issues than areas in which there is a more natural crossover between institutions.

The report says: "The arrangements are experimental and unlikely to work as intended in all areas and for all functions and services devolved."

Watch: Latest weather for Coventry and Warwickshire

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A cloudy afternoon with a couple of spots of drizzle possible and highs of 11C 52F).

Listen: How did Shakespeare influence Little Britain?

BBC Radio 2

Matt Lucas on the shared DNA between the Bard and Marjorie Dawes.  

Motorcyclist killed in Lillington crash

Alec Blackman

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

A motorbiker's died in a collision in Leamington Spa

The Ambulance service says paramedics were called to Pound Lane in Lillington yesterday around 16:50 and found the biker in cardiac arrest.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Shakespeare shorts: Macbeth explained in simple words


Four hundred years after his death, William Shakespeare is still one of the most famous writers in the world.

He is well known for his amazing plays filled with complex language and many plot twists and turns.

Here's a short explainer of Macbeth, by author Michael Rosen, to give you a flavour of his work.  

You can find other Shakespeare shorts on our website.

Latest: Council meeting to discuss chief executive role; and Rugby Leage at the Ricoh

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

These are some of the main stories in the Coventry newsroom today:

- Council leader promises meeting to discuss chief executive's role at combined authority

- Ricoh Arena to stage matches in Rugby League's Four Nations

- Watchdog issues warning over 'devolution revolution'

Stalking Shakespeare's ghost

In the 400 years since his death much about William Shakespeare remains a mystery. 

Here experts try to track down the places he worked, lived and visited.

William Shakespeare
Getty Images
William Shakespeare

Stalking Shakespeare's ghost

In the 400 years since his death much about William Shakespeare remains a mystery. Here experts try to track down the places he worked, lived and visited.

Read more

Dame Judi in Warwickshire to celebrate the 'man who pays the rent'

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Actress Dame Judi Dench is back in Warwickshire for the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death – and admitted she would have “hated” not to have been involved.

On Saturday evening, Dame Judi will be appearing in Shakespeare Live from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon alongside David Tennant.

I'll be presenting a special edition of BBC Midlands Today from Stratford-upon-Avon tonight at 18:30 on BBC One.    

Meeting to discuss controversy over council boss' dual role

Coventry council leader, Ann Lucas, says the chief executive's work for the West Midlands Combined Authority is only a "temporary arrangement".

Coventry council house

It comes amid Conservative opposition calls for a special meeting after it emerged the council's being run by an acting chief executive while Martin Reeves carries out his extra role two days a week.

She said "I do think that it's right that we talk about this, and I will be calling a meeting".

News: Council leader agrees to meeting over chief executive's role; plans for combined authority 'untested'

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

These are some of the stories we're looking at today:

- Leader of Coventry City Council says chief executive's role will be discussed at council

- Watchdog says plans for a combined authority are "untested"

- Stratford prepares to welcome thousands to celebrate Shakespeare anniversary

Watch: Latest weather for Coventry and Warwickshire

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A much colder day with plenty of cloud around and only a few brighter and sunnier spells.

A couple of spots of drizzle are possible with highs of 11C (52F).

Shakespeare's 'original classroom' revealed

Sean Coughlan

BBC News, education correspondent

The original classroom where William Shakespeare is believed to have studied and seen plays performed opens to the public for the first time this weekend.


The classroom is owned by the King Edward VI school, the direct successor to the grammar school in Stratford-upon-Avon attended by Shakespeare from about 1571.

It will be open to visitors after a £1.8m lottery-funded renovation.

Travel: M6 problems

BBC Travel

One lane closed and slow traffic on M6 northbound between J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich) and J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway, because of a broken down vehicle. 

More details on BBC Travel

Good morning from Coventry and Warwickshire

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

Welcome to our live feed on Friday morning, bringing you all the news, sport, travel and weather as it happens. 

If you'd like to get in touch you can emailtweet @BBCcovwarks or message via Facebook.