Heavyweight Actor Idris Elba Trains for His Real Life Role as a Professional Fighter in New Series from Discovery Networks International

Press Contacts:

Brian Eley, Discovery Networks International

Brian_Eley@discovery.com, +1 212 548 5153

(EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, August 23, 2016) – Golden-Globe winning, Emmy Award-nominated actor and producer Idris Elba has taken on numerous roles but none like this.  In an all-new limited series announced today at the Edinburgh Television Festival, IDRIS ELBA: FIGHTER, Elba will undertake the most physically and mentally demanding experience of his career – training to become a professional kickboxer and ultimately compete against a seasoned brawler in a no-holds-barred bout.

This is no act. There is no script. This fight is real as are the potential repercussions.

Elba’s continuing storytelling partnership with Discovery Networks International will give viewers unprecedented access and insight into Idris Elba the man, not Idris Elba the actor, showcasing what drives him, his aspirations in life and the challenges he wants to face and overcome.

Shot on location in Britain, Cuba, Japan, South Africa and Thailand, IDRIS ELBA: FIGHTER, a 3×60’ limited series produced by Shine North and Idris Elba’s production company Green Door Pictures, will broadcast on Discovery Networks International’s factual channels across more than 220 countries and territories beginning in early 2017, including the UK and US. Elba previously worked with Discovery on a high-adrenaline racing series, NO LIMITS.

During Idris’ blood, sweat and tears training, he will discover what it really takes to be a professional fighter and will push himself to the limit to overcome pain and fear, master specialized techniques and skills, and ensure both his body and mind are fighting fit. His fame absolutely does not guarantee him a place in the ring; that has to be earned.  With mentoring from former world champions, trainers, and coaches, Idris will span the globe to incorporate unorthodox training methods and fitness regimens to increase his chances in the main event.  Elba, who is no stranger to fight training, used to train kickboxing (for fitness) throughout his twenties. However, he has never fought professionally.

“It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to fight professionally,” said Elba. “Entering the ring to further test myself as a human being is a challenge I have been looking to take on for quite some time.”

Marjorie Kaplan, President of Content, Discovery Networks International, said: “This raw yet intimate series will show a side of Idris that viewers and fans won’t get from his spectacular film work. From East London to the Far East and the Caribbean, he’ll explore strength, stamina and spirituality through a range of martial arts and their fascinating histories. We’re absolutely thrilled that Idris has chosen Discovery to tell his story and journey in the right way.”

Ed Sayer, Vice President of Production and Development, Factual, Discovery Networks International, said: “Idris’ trust and continued partnership with Discovery is a testament that we are uniquely positioned to share his story worldwide. It’s intensely personal, beyond inspirational and depicts one man’s journey to face his own fears, challenges and sense of self.  It will be a look at the real Idris and only Discovery can share this story”

“Filmed over the course of a year, this is by far the most ambitious project we have ever attempted with Idris. He’s changed his entire lifestyle to prepare for the fight, and has suffered some huge setbacks along the way. But it’s watching how Idris tackles these obstacles, that makes this such a revealing and compelling series,” says Rick Murray, executive producer for Shine North.

IDRIS ELBA: FIGHTER is produced for Discovery Networks International by Shine North and Green Door Pictures. Ed Sayer is commissioner and Victoria Noble is executive producer for Discovery Networks International. Rick Murray is executive producer for Shine North. Marjorie Kaplan is president of content for Discovery Networks International.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the leader in global entertainment reaching 3 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. Discovery satisfies curiosity, entertains and inspires viewers with high-quality content through global brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and through the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio, including Seeker and SourceFed. Discovery owns Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.

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