Death in Paradise star Ben Miller donned a toga and wielded a sword as the Roman emperor Vespasian to open a gladiator-themed exhibition at the Corinium Museum.

Known to many for the Armstrong and Miller Show as well as roles in Bridgerton and Paddington the actor, who lives nearby, was enthusiastic about the new Cemetery of Secrets attraction.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this museum," he told guests at an evening preview. "As small and perfectly formed as the town it serves, a place where you can immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the Cotswolds, a local museum that is truly a national treasure. And as if the fascinating Stone Age, Iron Age, Bronze Age, and Roman exhibits weren’t enough, now with added Gladiators.”

The Ermine Street Guard and gladiator re-enactors Legio Secunda Augusta were at the event on October 21 along with friends of the museum and sponsors of the exhibition, which runs until April 23.

Visitors will learn about 80 skeletons unearthed from a Roman cemetery in York. Expert archaeological opinion varies on whether the men were soldiers, gladiators or slaves and the displays present the evidence including cut marks, animal bites and blunt force trauma on the bones of six of them.

People will be able to see facial reconstructions, CT scans and other details..

Gladiator re-enactors will make return visits on February 21-23 and April 12-14, between 10am and 4pm, taking over the museum's Hare gallery with live interactive shows.

During the live sessions people will be given dozens of artefacts to handle, and children will have the chance to dress up.

Crowd control will be overseen by Roman soldiers guarding the galleries and a living history display will allow visitors to learn more about Roman life.

Children are invited to follow the We Are the Romans family trail, created in partnership with Welbeck Publishing and illustrated by World Book Day artist, Allen Fatimaharan with text by author, David Long.

Admission to the museum in Cirencester costs £7.40 for adults, £4.70 for children aged five to 16 or £19.55 for a family of four. It is open Monday to Saturday between 10am and 5pm and from 2pm to 5pm on Sundays.

Visit for details and more information about exhibits.