BBC Orders Idris Elba Car Racing Documentary

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Idris Elba

The U.K. public broadcaster has commissioned a slew of fact-based programming.

LONDON – U.K. public broadcaster the BBC has ordered a raft of fresh fact-based programming to feed BBC Two and BBC Four, including a car racing documentary fronted by The Wire alum Idris Elba.

BBC Two and BBC Four controller Janice Hadlow announced the new shows after delivering an overview of her channels at this year's Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Elba will front the two-hour special for BBC Two, which aims to chart the colorful origins and secret history of the car racing scene, taking the popular actor from his doorstep in Hackney, London, to U.S. racetracks via the Scottish highlands and the arctic plains of Finland.

Hadlow also said a landmark factual drama about the countdown to World War I and a major new show focused on the 18th century have been ordered.

The broadcaster has also commissioned factual drama 37 Days, which tells the behind-closed-doors story of the outbreak of World War I, starring Ian McDiarmid, Sinead Cusack, Tim Pigott-Smith, Bill Paterson and Kenneth Cranham.

BBC Four also ordered shows on the art of China fronted by Andrew Graham-Dixon, which will aim to detail the rich heritage of art and culture in the area.