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Idris Elba reportedly in talks to join $1.2bn bid for UK pubcaster Channel 4

British actor and producer Idris Elba is in discussions to be part of a £1bn (US$1.2bn) bid for UK broadcaster Channel 4, according to a report from The Sunday Times.

Idris Elba (photo: Alex Piper)

The UK publication reported that Elba is in talks over a joint bid with London-based marketing and communications firm Miroma Group, which is led by founder and CEO Marc Boyan.

Reports of Elba’s involvement come eight months after Miroma appointed bankers to explore the possibility of buying the commercially funded public service broadcaster.

The British government confirmed its plan to privatise Channel 4 last year, arguing that private ownership would give the broadcaster the ability to compete more effectively with US streamers.

The plan has been unanimously derided by the local industry and Channel 4 itself, with reports and analysis suggesting the move could put around 60 production companies at risk of closure and jeopardise 2,400 jobs.

Earlier this month, bosses at five of the UK’s leading entertainment unions penned a letter to the UK culture secretary Nadine Dorries urging the government to rethink the plan to privatise the broadcaster.

Also earlier this month, Channel 4’s chief creative officer Ian Katz said producers operating outside London stand to lose the most if the privatisation plan comes to fruition. He added that the White Paper published by the government “doesn’t seem to protect the essence of the channel” and provides “scant protections” around independent production spending and regional representation.

ITV, Channel 5 owner Paramount Global, Warner Bros Discovery and Sky owner Comcast are also reported to be in the running to make bids.

Elba is known for his roles as Stringer Bell in HBO’s crime drama The Wire and DCI John Luther in BBC One drama Luther. He has also appeared in several Marvel movies including Thor, Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok.

He also has his own production banner Green Door Pictures, which has a first-look deal with Apple TV+. In April, Apple TV+ commissioned seven-part thriller Hijack, which is the first project to emerge from the pact.

The project is produced by 60Forty Films and Idiotlamp Productions in association with Green Door, with Elba set to star and executive produce. The story is told in real time and follows a hijacked plane as it makes its way to London in a seven-hour flight, with authorities on the ground scrambling for answers.


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