Idris Elba Is Opening an ‘Experimental Fight School’ in New BBC Two Series

Actor trained to become a pro kickboxer in 2017 Discovery series “Idris Elba: Fighter”

Idris Elba Fighter
Photo: Angel Valentin

The UK’s BBC Two channel ordered three new shows on Wednesday, including one where Idris Elba opens an “experimental fight school” in London.

“Idris Elba’s Fight School” is a four-part series that will see Elba set up an experimental fight school in London, providing an outlet for young men and women “whose circumstances around their upbringing have not given them the opportunities to make the right choices and avoid street violence,” according to BBC Two. The actor will enlist seven recruits from across the UK and “teach them the discipline, focus and determination needed in fight training in the hope the lessons they learn can help transform their lives.”

The amateur fighters will live and train together over six months, working towards a “big showcase finale,” according to the broadcast channel’s media release. There, readers can learn more about the other two BBC Two commissions. We’ve got basic info below.

But first: “I see history constantly repeating itself and can empathise with these kids,” Elba said in statement. “I believe there is a better way to teach people that you don’t need knives to protect yourself. It’s a proven fact that in urban areas where fight schools open, violent crime drops dramatically – which is why I wanted to do this project, in hope that we can change people’s lives. I want this project to be an ongoing presence that will continue to provide support and education for the community for years to come.”

Elba knows how to throw fists — and feet. In 2017, Discovery Channel aired “Idris Elba: Fighter,” in which the actor trained to become a real pro kickboxer.

In addition to “Idris Elba’s Fight School,” BBC Two ordered a series about women in the 21st century and another about the first decade of the Premiere League.

Fronted by Kirsty Wark, “21st Century Women” will explore who women are today and who or what defines their identity, according to The BBC. Raising questions about subjects such as consent, identity and gender, work, love and life at home, issues that that have evolved over the past 20 years, the two-part series will brings women of different ages together to unpick the layers and debate what it is to be a woman in the 21st century.

In “The Premiership: A Whole New Ball Game,” BBC Two will have “unprecedented” access to players, agents, journalists and business brains. Also a four-part series, what is being described as “the definitive story of the Premiere League,” will concentrate on the story of the league’s first decade.

The announcements were made at the Edinburgh TV Festival by BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland.


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