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PM asked to create national day commemorating Shakespeare

The PM has been urged to create a national day to commemorate the birth of Shakespeare Credit: PA Wire

David Cameron has been urged to create a national day to commemorate the birth of playwright William Shakespeare.

The 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth has been celebrated in recent days, leading to the MP for Stratford-upon-Avon to make the request to the prime minister.

Mr Cameron disclosed to MPs that he was inspired and driven on by Henry V's speech before the Battle of Agincourt.

Shakespeare's house in Stratford-upon-Avon Credit: ITV News Central

In a lengthy question which appeared to have taken inspiration from Shakespeare's works, Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi referred to the Prime Minister as he said:

"Could this right honourable man, the captain of our state, lend his help to make our national poet's birth a national day, and could he disclose before the House what Shakespeare means to him?"

Mr Cameron replied: "Can I thank you for that beautifully and brilliantly crafted question about the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.

It is a moment for celebration, not just here in Britain but all across the world, where Shakespeare's works are getting a wider and wider understanding and distribution.

I won't attempt the quotes you have brought out in your question.

But I would say to any politician, if you read Henry V's speech before Agincourt - if that doesn't inspire and drive you on, I can't think what does."

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'Shakespeare's Church' bell ringing celebrations

Bell ringers at the Holy Trinity church in Stratford are taking part in Shakespeare's 450th birthday celebrations.

The church itself is known as 'Skakespeare's Church', as it is where he was baptised. He is also buried within the chancel.

Ringing Master, Charles Wilson, explains some of the history of bell ringing at the church.

Shakespeare's Birthday celebrations

William Shakespeare turns 450 today
William Shakespeare turns 450 today Credit: PA

Celebrations are starting today in Stratford-upon-Avon for William Shakespeare's birthday. The famous playwright was born in the town in 1564.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will celebrate Shakepeare's 450th birthday with a firework display from the top of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre after the evening performance of Henry IV, Part 1.

The celebrations will continue over the weekend offering a range of free family theatre activities including stage fighting workshops and blood, guts and gore make-up classes.

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Shakespeare's school opens to girls

With the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare approaching, the school that he attended in Stratford-upon-Avon will admit girls today for the first time in its history.

More than 30 girls will be among the cohort of 50 students joining the Sixth Form at King Edward VI School. In the words of the bard himself: ‘…learning, what a thing it is!’

King Edward VI School in Stratford-upon-Avon which lists William Shakespeare as one of its past pupils Credit: ITV News Central

Hearing to take place over greenbelt homes in Stratford

Anne Hathaway's cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon Credit: PA

A hearing will take place today over controversial plans to build hundreds of homes on greenbelt land near Anne Hathaway's cottage.

The district council filed a legal challenge against the Communities Secretary's approval for the planned homes near the Shakespearian house in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Watch: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust opposed to new homes

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