Idris Elba: King of Speed
"Hollywood superstar Idris Elba is under starters orders in brand new BBC2 series. Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, The Wire, Luther) takes pole position on the grid as he lines up to take the drive of his life in a revelatory, adrenaline-fuelled 3 x 60 min documentary produced by Shine TV. Charting the colourful origins and secret history of how speed changed the cars we drive, Idris examines the underground racing scene around the world. It’s an international driving tour that will take him from his door step in Hackney to the racetracks of America via the Scottish Highlands and the Arctic plains of Finland. As he travels the world, he will reveal the unexplored political, social and historical circumstances connecting the early stories of speed from the American prohibition era, through to our modern day driving culture. But it’s not all talk. When it comes to speed, you have to drive it to get it. Idris will learn the Japanese art of drifting, a sport spawned by illegal street racing, test drive an elite American NASCAR vehicle, ride in a vintage Ford V8. And, under the guidance of Britain’s ‘girl racer’ Louise Cook, Idris will improve his rally driving skills, and rally a Metro 6R4 – an off roader so powerful it was banned for being too dangerous. By getting under the bonnet of these white-knuckle racing worlds, Idris uncovers a fresh and thrilling perspective on our relationship with speed. Experienced driving legends line up alongside new faces from modern day racing, and together they will co-pilot Elba in his travels as he connects a variety of motoring worlds to their much broader cultural impact. A story packed with an incredible and unexpected history, it’s time to buckle up as Elba gets behind the wheel."
S01:E01 - Episode 1
Idris Elba takes pole position on the grid as he sets off on the drive of his life, in a revelatory, adrenaline-fuelled documentary series about speed and driving fast. On his journey, Idris charts the colourful origins and secret history of the underground racing scene in the USA – and sets out to examine how boy-racers and our love of speed have shaped the cars we drive today. Episode 1 sees him travel from his childhood home in East London to Motorcity in Detroit and on to New Jersey, where he reveals the history of the first boy racers and explores how our obsession with driving fast has shaped our professional motorsports and popular culture.
S01:E02 - Episode 2
Idris Elba’s journey into the world of speed and fast cars continues, as he investigates how our motor sports are not just about speed but also about precision driving. This episode sees Idris meet the owner of one of the world’s fastest production cars, he also uncovers how the underground driving craze of drifting began in Japan has become the fastest growing motorsport in Europe. He then goes on to explore the history of the Cannonball Run and also of the rallying Mini, and gets to grips with the technology and skills needed to drive at a professional level.
S01:E03 - Episode 3
Idris Elba’s journey into the world of speed and fast cars takes him to the highlands of Scotland and then on to Finland, as he investigates how our motor sports are not just about speed but about the marriage of skill and speed. Idris goes back to basics and learns the skills of trial biking, before finally fulfilling his personal ambition to drive a full spec rally car on a genuine Finnish rally course, with plenty of close calls on along the way.