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Max Irons and Sam Neill are to team up to tell the story of the hunt for Tutankhamun’s tomb in a new ITV period drama.

The White Queen star Max will play young British archaeologist Howard Carter, alongside Peaky Blinders star Sam as British aristocrat Lord Carnarvon in Tutankhamun.

Set in the early 1900s, the four-part mini series tells the true story of Carter’s quest to uncover the tomb of Ancient Egypt’s legendary forgotten Pharaoh.

Max ironsMax Irons will play Howard Carter (Ian West/PA)

After taking too many risks in his determination to uncover the last resting place of “the boy king”, Carter had his licence to dig revoked by Cairo’s Antiquities Service, and found himself destitute.

But a chance meeting with wealthy amateur archaeologist Lord Carnarvon spawned an unlikely friendship and won Carter the financial backing to finally discover the tomb of King Tut in 1921.

Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun (AP)Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun (AP)

The drama – written by Guy Burt, whose previous credits include The Bletchley Circle and The Borgias – is to be filmed on location in South Africa from mid-October.