So, I called up the controller of BBC Three and I said, “Hello mate, how you doing? It’s Idris Elba. Are you comfortable? OK. Listen, can you leave your office please? I’m going to take over now…” And he said yes.

This week Mr. Idris Elba has curated programming for BBC 3 to tell the stories of young people from a modern and diverse Britain. The week’s content will feature a range of documentaries, dramas and programming that Idris says are “very relatable for me, that I think are relatable to a wider audience, too.”

Over the seven days of programming, it guarantees to be a platform showcasing a bitesize of young emerging London talent that tackles issues such as identity, disability, mental health, war and class. Highlights of The Idris Elba Takeover will include six comedy shorts presented by comedian Romesh Ranganathan, featuring Sharon Horgan, Jack Dee, Russell Howard and more revealing their earliest memories from their comedy careers.

Five by Five is a drama series that challenges preconceptions and subverting stereotypes staring and produced by Elba himself. The series, told in 5 short episodes spotlights peer pressure across a spectrum of real life situations and touches on taboo subjects such as a black policeman being accused of racism during stop-and-search, and points out that disabled women can be as criminally dubious as the next person.

Elba also worked alongside SBTV’s music mogul and entrepreneur, Jamal Edwards to create a collaborative track and video from some of the UK’s best emerging musicians. Alika McGillivary, better known by her artist name Alika features as one of the rappers in Jamal Edwards’ Inspire music video.  Last Year Alika won the Mobo Unsung award, an award dedicated to urban music’s up and coming talent.

We caught up with Alika to find out more.

What does it mean to you to be a part of Idris Elba’s BBC3 Takeover and why is it important do you think?

It meant a lot to me to be a part of the takeover because the Inspire topic is very important to me as it’s what I always strive to do with my music. It’s an important project because it gives a voice to people who don’t usually get a chance to express themselves on such big platforms. We were able to contribute in our own words and everyone is different and coming from different places.

Without giving it away, can you give us a little taste of what to expect from Idris’ project with SBTV’s Jamal Edwards?

You can expect 6 sick MC’s coming together over a Komenz Instrumental to inspire anyone that hears it. We had a lot of fun.

What was the most exciting thing about being a part of the project?

I really enjoyed shooting the video with everyone. It was a long day but everyone was laughing & working together to give the best product we could. It was great getting to meet so many other artists from all over & be able to talk with them & share stories about our journeys so far!

This week we will see BBC 3 like we’ve never seen it before, we’ll see it as the most diverse it has ever been and we will be able to appreciate talent and stories that may not have made huge noise but will soon be on your radar once showcased in this unique and intimate way headed by leading man Idris Elba.

Words by @_HanCali


Idris Elba’s Bbc 3 Takeover can be watched here.