Rupert Everett is to play Lord Byron in a documentary on the Romantic poet's travels in Albania.

The actor spent five days filming on location that included travel by mule, local members of the production said.

The documentary for Channel 4 television will trace Byron's connection with the tiny Balkan country on the 200th anniversary of his journey there, they said.

The programme is due to be broadcast next year.

Everett was in the country last week and spent some of the trip riding a mule around the Gjirokastra and Tepelena districts, said Auron Tare, who is assisting with the production.

"Everett understood why Lord Byron had come to Albania, where he said he found 'a Scotland with mosques' because of the similarity of nature, steep mountains, folk costumes and people's character," Tare said.

The actor spent one evening listening to Albanian music at the former house of late communist dictator Enver Hoxha, which is now a museum, Tare said.

Production pictures showed Everett riding a mule on a mountain path, wrapped in a sheepskin blanket.

Lord Byron, born George Gordon Noel Byron, travelled for about a month in southern Albania in 1809 before going to neighbouring Greece.

He died of fever and exposure while engaged in the Greek struggle for independence.