A 37-year-old forklift truck engineer from Dock Street in Whitechapel has told The Whelk that he spotted the ruthless Roman Tribune, Messala, from the epic movie, Ben Hur, drinking in The Lord Rodney’s Head public house on Monday evening.

Toby Dell, married with four children, told us: “It was definitely him, I’m 100 per cent certain.

“He was wearing a toga and carrying a short sword like the one you saw him carrying in Ben Hur.

“I introduced myself and he seemed pleasant enough so I asked him if he fancied a game of darts and he agreed.

“However, he was a bit of a bad loser and drew his sword when I finished our last game of 501 on double 18.

“After he’d calmed down, we went back to the bar and I started asking him about the chariot race at the end of the film.

“He seemed to get the hump about that and started shouting the odds about how Ben Hur cheated and how he would have won easily if the Cypriot geezer in the pointy hat hadn’t cut him up badly on the 7th lap.

“In the end, the guvnor chucked him out for upsetting the other customers.

“The last I saw of him he was crossing the road and heading towards The Blind Beggar”

Mr Dell’s story comes just two weeks after a woman from neighbouring Bethnal Green claimed to have seen Cleopatra having a shampoo and set in the hairdressers in Cambridge Heath Road.