Idris Elba credits ‘good old Prince Charles’ for big break

Idris Elba delivers a speech about diversity in television for Channel 4's 360 diversity event at the Houses of Parliament. Picture: PA

Idris Elba delivers a speech about diversity in television for Channel 4's 360 diversity event at the Houses of Parliament. Picture: PA

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Idris Elba has said “good old Prince Charles” helped him get his big break as he made a speech in parliament about diversity in television.

The star, known for his roles in Luther and The Wire, spoke about the importance of the creative industries to the British economy and called for “imagination” and “diversity of thought”.

He touched upon skin colour, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and social background in the Westminster speech.

“The Britain I come from is the most successful, diverse, multicultural country on the earth,” he said.

“But here’s my point: you wouldn’t know it if you turned on the TV. So many of our creative decision-makers share the same background.”

Speaking about his own path to stardom, the 43-year-old actor said: “I’m a product of my imagination.”

Elba said he used to fit tyres and now he makes films in Hollywood. “I finally got my first break in the creative industries from the Prince’s Trust. Yes, good old Prince Charles came in there.”

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