Entertainment & Arts

Idris Elba teaming up with BBC Three for short films

Idris Elba in February 2015 Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Elba's production company is working with BBC Three on films from new writers

Idris Elba is teaming up with BBC Three for a series of short films to appear on the channel when it moves online.

The Luther star's production company, Green Door Pictures, will collaborate with BBC Three on the films from new writers.

Established names will work alongside new actors for the series.

BBC Three controller Damian Kavanagh vowed the channel, which goes online next month, would be bold, British and creative.

He has a budget of £30m a year for creative ideas, he said at an event to launch the new-look channel.

Elba, widely considered to have been overlooked for an Oscars nomination for his role in Beasts of No Nation, said: "I'm looking forward to working with BBC Three and giving new writers and actors a chance to show what they can do."

'Just the start'

Kavanagh said the short films, made in conjunction with BBC Drama in-house, would be set in London, featuring "chance encounters between two people".

New programmes for the channel also include Clique, focusing on two friends starting university in Edinburgh, magic show Life Hacks with Ben Hart and Unsolved: The Boy who Disappeared which tells the true story of the disappearance of a teenager two decades ago.

BBC Three programmes including Stacey Dooley Investigates and Life and Death Row will still be available when the switchover happens on 16 February.

Kavanagh said: "We're reinventing our offer for young people and this is just the start. We will be bold, we will be British and we will be creative."

Image caption The new logo for BBC Three was unveiled earlier this month

The channel is introducing two new formats for online - The Daily Drop, home to a stream of daily content, and The Best Of, bringing together original long-form programmes and new content, including short films.

BBC director general Tony Hall said: "We are the first broadcaster in the world to work out what it's going to be like in this on-demand world.

"This is new and let's be clear, it's also risky, but risky in the way it should be risky because if we don't take risks, who's going to?"

He applauded BBC Three for making programmes that "provoke such strong reactions" and emphasised the importance of finding new talent.

"I want people to look back on the new BBC Three as being the place that spotted the next James Corden, the next Aidan Turner, the next Sheridan Smith," he said.

Switchover night will include the first episode of Cuckoo, the first film from the new series of Life and Death Row, and Live from the BBC, featuring new British comedians.

Content will be available on iPlayer and BBC Three's new online home.

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