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Ex EastEnders star Larry Lamb is to delve into the past in a new show about Rome and the Romans.

Larry, who played evil Archie Mitchell in the soap, is a lifelong fanatic about the period in history, and will trace the dramatic story of Rome’s rise from a city to a huge global empire, in Channel 5’s new four-part series, Rome: The World’s First Superpower.

Travelling across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Larry will discover all the heroes and villains who helped one small group of people conquer the word and then run it for almost 1000 years.

Larry, who also starred as Gavin’s dad Mick in hit BBC1 comedy drama Gavin & Stacey, will delve into the everyday human stories of the Romans as well as tales of betrayal and murder in a struggle for power.

“From exploring Roman sewers and slums to epic battlefields, from the ancient walls of Rome to diving among the intact ruins of villas, this series is showing me Rome in a way I only ever dreamed of,” says Larry.

Rome: The World’s First Superpower will hit our screens later this year.