BBC Two has announced a new line-up of docuseries heading to the channel in the near future, including a show which sees Luther star Idris Elba set up an “experimental fight school” for young people in London.
Idris Elba’s Fight School will follow the award-winning actor as he enlists seven recruits from disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK, whilst consulted by local organisations, in the hope of teaching them “discipline, focus and determination – all key elements in the world of fight training”.
The four-part docuseries will film the training camp over the course of six months, with the kids battling it out against other amateurs and learning affirming lessons along the way which will give them the tools to transform their lives.
Each hour-long episode will see Elba mentor the young men and women while they’re trained in the ring by the hardest and toughest in the boxing industry, who also happen to be ex-world class champions.
“I see history constantly repeating itself and can empathise with these kids. I believe there is a better way to teach people that you don’t need knives to protect yourself,” Elba said.
“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 was recently awarded the prestigious Special Award BAFTA at this year’s virtual event for his work in the industry and commitment to championing diversity.
BBC Two has commissioned two other documentary series alongside Idris Elba’s Fight School – 21st Century Women and Premier League in The Premiership: A Whole New Ball Game.
Presented by Kirsty Wark, 21st Century Women will explore who women are in this day and age, and how they define their identity whilst raising questions of consent, identity and gender.
While Premier League in The Premiership is a four-part series concentrating on the story of the league’s first decade through unprecedented access to players, agents, journalists and the brains behind football.
Patrick Holland, the BBC Two Controller, said in a statement: “The public health crisis will not be allowed to get in the way of more great series for 2020, across the genres we’ll be bringing the most challenging and exciting voices to our screens.”
“We’ll dive into the business and the personalities behind one of the biggest cultural revolutions in modern sport, telling the story of the Premier League as a premium documentary box set,” he added.
“Global superstar Idris Elba will bring his passion for boxing to help change the lives of some of the UK’s struggling young people. And Kirsty Wark will be taking on the charged debate of identity politics and modern feminism. This is BBC Two at its best; fearless, exciting, complex and premium.”
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