Muggle officials yesterday dramatically stopped one of J. K. Rowling's greatest secrets being revealed to unsuspecting motorists.

A banner revealing the name of a character who is killed off in the latest Harry Potter book was unfurled across a footbridge on the A442 in Telford, yesterday morning.

Surprised drivers quickly called the police before any fans of the boy wizard saw the shocking banner before reading the book.

Council workers then removed the handwritten banner on health and safety grounds before midday.

David Morgan from Telford and Wrekin Council said: "It appears to be a prank even though the book has been in the shops for a week now. These pranks are funny but there was a serious point.

"There was an issue with road safety and there was the potential for the banner to blow on to traffic."