Leicester born author Sue Townsend, who wrote the Adrian Mole books, will receive an honorary degree from De Montfort University today.
Birmingham born actor Adrian Lester and Gavin and Stacey star Ruth Jones will also receive degrees from the University of Warwick.
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The Worcestershire town of Bewdley has adorned its streets with decorated bikes to welcome 15,000 cyclists.
The 100 mile race which starts and ends in Birmingham takes in Herefordshire and Worcestershire via Sandwell, Dudley and Staffordshire.
Dry and bright day but will become cloudier later in the day.