Patrick Stewart chosen to receive Shakespeare prize
Sir Patrick Stewart CBE is to receive this year's Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Prize.
The Yorkshire-born international film star is to receive the prize at the annual Shakespeare Birthday Luncheon in Stratford-upon-Avon on 30 April.
The prize is awarded annually "for outstanding achievement in extending the appreciation and enjoyment of the works of William Shakespeare".
Previous recipients include Sir Ian McKellan and Dame Judi Dench.
Sir Patrick will receive the prize at Shakespeare's old school, King Edward VI Grammar School.
The actor has been in more than 40 productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and is an Honorary Associate Artist of the company.
He is due to return to Stratford for the 2011 season to play Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.
Sir Patrick said: "I am delighted with this award.
"It comes in the month of the opening of a new season in the new theatre with a new company and for me a long awaited return to a great role I last played with the RSC in 1979.
"It is great to have so many good things all happening together."