Whenever an actor takes part in any form of reality television, it’s usually just for funded exposure at the back end of a career. Acclaimed British actor Idris Elba is just settled into the peak of his, so it’s no surprise he won’t be living in a house with Verne Troyer and Da Brat. Instead, he’ll be focusing on what it takes to excel in the sport of racing for the series The Idris Elba Project, which will speed its way to Discovery next year.

What kind of racing, you ask? Why, nearly all kinds, of course. (Except perhaps snaiback races.) Elba will experience everything from powerboat racing to street racing to rally driving; and he’s not just sticking around on land, as he’ll also delve into the world of aerobatics. While all of this will no doubt lend itself to great looking footage, Elba’s purpose isn’t only to zip around in a multitude of vehicles. He’ll also be learning the history behind each form of racing, and getting into the science and engineering behind it all so he can attempt to quasi-master everything.

It won’t just be Elba doing all the talking, either. Each The Idris Elba Project episode will begin at a different famed motor sport competition, in both British and U.S. locations, where Elba will be inspired to cancel the apocalypse immerse himself in each sport’s inner mechanics. He’ll talk to, and receive instruction from, some of the world’s best drivers and pilots as he temporarily joins professional teams and dives headfirst into each task.

Here’s how Elba put it in a press release, presumably in a way at least 1000% more suave than I am on my best days.
I’m taking on the toughest racing challenges of my life for this new Discovery TV series. Along the way I’ll meet extraordinary individuals, spectacular machines and hear amazing stories of how far people go to satisfy their love of speed. The extreme challenges will take me right out of my comfort zone as I compete against the best on land, water and in the air.”

I’m a big fan of Elba’s work both on the small screen in the stellar detective drama Luther and on the big screen most recently in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Thor: The Dark World. I’ve got no problem watching him look jubilant as he zooms down a drag strip. At least it won’t have anything to do with Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance like this clip does, with Elba flying around on a motorcycle.



Tsk tsk tsk. All things Nicolas Cage-on-fire aside, Discovery’s The Idris Elba Project will be on its way to the finish line at some point in 2015.

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