The Roman poet Ovid is often regarded as one of the most influential writers in history. Michael Wood explores his life from his birth in Sulmona to his exile in Romania, the furthest reaches of the Empire. It looks at his early romantic and erotic poems, which when studied in American universities today now sometimes carry a health warning. He was later sent into exile by the Emperor Augustus, spending his time in this harsh climate writing his most famous work Metamorphoses. Along with Wood, the programme features readings of his works by Simon Russell Beale and Anna Friel. Ovid: the Poet and the Emperor is on BBC Four at 21.00.