Award winning actor Idris Elba is set to switch from the acting stage to the rally stage as he gears up for the 2015 Circuit of Ireland Rally, round three of the FIA European Rally Championship.
Elba who played Nelson Mandela in the film “Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom”, as well as winning a Golden Globe for his role in the BBC crime thriller series Luther, has been test driving in County Monaghan to get a true feel of the driving skills needed for the Rally on Easter weekend.
The actor is embarking on a new challenge as he competes as part of a new TV documentary series airing on Discovery TV which will see him race on land sea and the air.
Elba will learn the basics of stage rallying in British Junior Rally Champion Gus Greensmith’s Ford Fiesta R1 while rallying legend Jimmy McRae will provide advanced tuition.
“We are so thrilled to host such a well-known celebrity at the rally as he takes on a new challenge,” said Rally Director Bobby Willis. “He will be truly pushed to his limits as he learns the finely-honed skills, precision and dedication needed to take part in the adrenalin-fuelled Circuit of Ireland this Easter.
“In recent years we have built up the rally to become a major event in the sporting calendar of Northern Ireland and last year over 74,000 people came to view the various stages while it was viewed by over 14 million people across the world.
“The fact that Elba’s series will broadcast on the Discovery Channel in the UK, US and across more than 220 countries and territories showcasing Northern Ireland and the Circuit to an audience of many million more viewers is staggering but amazing news!”
The event kicks of on April 2nd with the ceremonial start outside Belfast City Hall.