Idris Elba has said seeing the effect of boxing on young people in South Africa inspired him to “experiment” with the discipline for a new TV series.
The Luther star, who played Nelson Mandela in the 2013 biopic Long Walk To Freedom, praised the sport for offering “kids” an alternative to carrying a knife and joining a gang.
His new programme for BBC Two sees him invite a group of young people with “unique challenging, personal stories” to join his bespoke boxing club for an intense course that will teach discipline, ambition and mental resilience.
They will train twice a day, six days a week, while also having access to a life coach and “inspirational mentors”, before competing in an official amateur fight.
Recalling how filming in South Africa a decade ago prompted the project, Elba told the PA news agency: “I was making a film. I was making Mandela …