David will host a live U.K. TV gala celebrating the life and work of Shakespeare in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, England on 23 April (16), the day on which the Bard was born and died.

The Shakespeare-based variety show, organised by the BBC and The Royal Shakespeare Company, will feature stars including Dame Judi and Ian as David pays tribute.

Joseph Fiennes, who played the literature icon in the Oscar-winning film Shakespeare In Love, will also appear at the event alongside musicians and dance groups.

"It's a variety bill, and the plays are a huge part of that," David tells the BBC. "We've got some of the biggest classical actors around. We have opera, we have ballet, we have hip-hop - all celebrating Shakespeare and what he's done for our cultural heritage."

The live television extravaganza is part of a slew of Shakespeare-related programmes to be broadcast by the BBC throughout the year (16), which will include Benedict Cumberbatch starring as the actor's distant relative King Richard III in The Hollow Crown.