EastEnders star Danny Dyer has discovered he is related to France's King Louis IX - also known as Saint Louis of France - as part of his family tree research for his new series Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family, which begins on BBC One next week.

Following Dyer's memorable appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? in 2016 - where the actor discovered that he was related to Britain's King Edward III - Danny Dyer's Right Royal Family sees him finding out more about his royal and noble forebears. 

The show begins on Wednesday, January 23 at 9:00pm on BBC One.

As part of the opening episode, Dyer travels to Paris to learn more about his 26 x great grandfather, King Louis IX.

With the help of medieval historian Dr Emily Guerry, Dyer brings to life the story of the devout monarch.  

"He was very religious, very devout," Guerry tells the Albert Square star. "He was anti-bad behaviour. He became a man who actually modelled himself on Jesus Christ and lived to imitate Christ."

Guerry explains that Louis IX dressed in humble robes and walked the streets of Paris barefoot "to honour his reception of the relic of the crown of thorns of Christ himself, which he was meant to have worn before his crucifixion". 

Dyer decides to recreate the King's procession. 

Danny Dyer follows in King Louis IX's footsteps

"I can be told all sorts of information but to actually walk in King Louis IX's footsteps, to think that he did this as a King... I admire him because he does exactly as he preaches and is showing everybody," he says. 

"He walked for six miles barefoot, in pain, and that you've got to respect. Considering the money and power he had and the life he could have lived, I think it's very brave. Bless him."

During a visit to Louis IX's personal chapel, Sainte-Chapelle, Dyer says: "When you first walk in here, it made me feel a bit sick. All this beauty. This overwhelming, guttural feeling of [gasps]. 

"I don't think I've ever been in a building that's more god-like where you think you could see God plotting up in here. If God was gonna have some windows, they'd be his windows [points towards the chapel's stained glass windows]."

His visit is followed by the revelation that Louis IX was canonised 27 years after his death.

"There are very few saints that aren't virgins or martyrs, so to have the blood of a saint in your blood is an extraordinary thing," says Guerry.

"It is isn't it?" replies a gobsmacked Dyer. "It's just so much to take in. I'm related to a saint."