Reborn Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington has lit the fuse on a 17th century thriller based around The Gunpowder Plot. Jon Snow might know nothing but Harington knows the lot since he will be playing his ancestor - the mastermind behind the Catholic conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament and assassinate King James 1.

Although Guy Fawkes is the historical face of The Gunpowder Plot and his execution is remembered on November 5 each year with a celebration of fireworks, bobbing apples and bonfires, the leader of the conspirators was 30-year-old Robert Catesby from Warwickshire.

Last year, Harington revealed on The Andrew Marr Show that Catesby was an ancestor on his mother’s side. When Catesby was executed his head was paraded on a pike outside Parliament. An ancestor on Kit’s father’s side, John Harington is reported to have said “He’s an ugly fellow, isn’t he!”

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BBC One have announced that filming has started on Gunpowder, a brand-new three part drama series developed and written by Ronan Bennett, whose previous credits include Top Boy and Hidden.

It stars Kit Harington as Catesby and Peter Mullan (Top of the Lake), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), and Liv Tyler (Lord Of The Rings). It will be directed by J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed).

Described as a fast-paced 17th century thriller, Gunpowder delves into the history behind the plot, the selection of the team to carry it out, the gathering of the resources, and the obstacles they came up against. At the same time a deadly cat and mouse game is played out with a ruthless spy network.