1. ITV Report

Dippy the Diplodocus being packed up and is coming to the Midlands

Dippy the Diplodocus going on tour and coming to Midlands Photo: PA Images

Dippy the Diplodocus is set to be "flat packed" ahead of his nationwide tour which includes a visit to Birmingham Museum.

It's one of the Natural History Museums best-recognised exhibits, a 70ft (21.3m) plaster-cast sauropod replica made up of 292 bones.

A team of six will start dismantling Dippy piece by piece - beginning with the tail - over three-and-a-half weeks.They expect him to fit into 12 crates.

We are drawing out a map so we can locate each part of that skeleton - we have a labelling system because some of the vertebrae look very similar "Once you get them off you don't want to muddle them up, so we have developed a proper numbering system that works with dinosaur anatomy. When we come to put it back together we don't get anything jumbled up

– Lorraine Cornish, Head of conservation

Made in 1905 Dippy took up residence in Hintze Hall in 1979 and in 1993 had his tail raised - in that time it is estimated he has been viewed by more than 90 million visitors.

Dippy's tour will start in early 2018.

Dippy's coveted spot at the entrance to the museum is being taken by the real skeleton of an 83ft (25.2m) female blue whale, weighing 4.5 tonnes.

She will take up position from summer this year in a diving pose as she is suspended from the ceiling of the hall.