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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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The Wire's Idris Elba to star in new BBC One crime thriller Luther

Idris Elba is to star in Neil Cross's first thrilling six-part series Luther, it was announced today, made by BBC Drama Production for BBC One.

Elba notably played Russell "Stringer" Bell in the ground-breaking American series The Wire, currently screening on BBC Two.

As John Luther, he plays a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can't always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions.

Elba says: "I'm really excited about playing Luther. He's a challenging and exciting character because he's so complex. While he's capable of great kindness and loyalty, sometimes he steps over the edge of madness – simmering with anger and rage."

Luther is a new kind of crime thriller for British TV. In each exciting and fast-moving story, the murderer's identity is known from the start – focussing the drama on the psychic duel between hunter and quarry, who sometimes have more in common than either would like to think.

Creator and writer Neil Cross is an acclaimed suspense novelist and was lead writer for the last two series of BBC One's Spooks.

"I'm delighted that BBC One is bringing Luther to life," he says. "It's an intense psychological thriller which examines not only human depravity but the complex nature of love and how it's often this – our finest attribute – that leads us into darkness."

Further casting is to be announced soon.

Luther is a 6 x 60-minute series and filming begins this autumn for transmission next year on BBC One.

Luther was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, and Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One. The BBC executive producer is Phillippa Giles and the producer is Katie Swinden.

BBC Drama Production is a world leader in producing much-loved and critically acclaimed dramas. Recent productions include: A Short Stay In Switzerland, The 39 Steps, Little Dorrit, Waking The Dead and Silent Witness on BBC One; and House Of Saddam and Desperate Romantics on BBC Two.

Forthcoming dramas include : The Last Days Of Lehman Brothers, Criminal Justice 2, Emma, Cranford 2, Survivors 2, Five Days 2 and Lark Rise To Candleford.

Notes to Editors

Biography of Idris Elba

A household name in the USA since leaving The Wire, Idris Elba has become an in-demand actor, with eye-catching roles in American Gangster and Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla as well as the lead role opposite Beyonce Knowles in the US hit Obsessed.

Idris recently completed a guest-starring stint in the biggest comedy series on US TV, The Office, and is currently shooting the big-budget action epic The Losers, in Puerto Rico.


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