"He was a lying, murdering, conniving, fake news generating politician who made it to the top"
That's Nigel Levy's take on Augustus, the first Roman emperor and Julius Caesar's adopted son. Nigel worked on the story with leading political thriller playwright Gary Mitchell to direct "Rome's First Emperor", a gripping and pacy account - presented by Bettany Hughes - of the ascent of Octavian from powerless parvenu to head the classical world's most powerful empire. Octavian/Augustus progressed faster, with more bloodshed and more betrayals than Vito Corleone. Screened this week on Channel 5 as part of Eight Days That Made Rome, the network's original commissioned 8-part docu-drama series.