Belfast Telegraph

Idris Elba takes it to very limit with Bangor's Michael Orr

By Sammy Hamill

Idris Elba may be a massive star of film and TV but he is upstaged by Bangor co-driver Michael Orr in his latest documentary series No Limits, part one of which aired on the Discovery Channel last night.

The actor who played Nelson Mandela in Long Walk To Freedom and stars in award-winning TV series The Wire and Luther, appeared on this year's European championship Circuit of Ireland as part of No Limits in which he tackles a variety of speed sports from drag racing to rallying, land speed records to air racing.

Despite coaching from seven-times Circuit winner Jimmy McRae and guidance from experienced World rally championship co-driver Orr, Elba crashed his Ford Fiesta on his first run over one of the special stages.

Orr, who had warned beforehand "if he doesn't listen to me it'll all end in tears", can be heard calling the pre-prepared pacenote for the corner "long 4 left over crossroads".

Then he calls it again. And again. But they still crashed into a hedge, damaging the steering of the Peugeot.

But Elba protests: "I didn't see it."

An exasperated Orr, far from being overawed by the Golden Globe-winning superstar in the driving seat, delivers a stinging put-down. "You don't need to see it, you just need to listen," he rebukes. Fortunately, the car suffered only minor damage and they were able to rejoin the rally, allowing the documentary-makers to continue filming for the four-part series in which Elba goes on to break a 90-year-old land speed record and conquer his fear of heights.

"The crash apart, it was an honour and pleasure to work with Idris on the programme and I hope it succeeds in bringing the sport I love to many millions who have never had the opportunity to experience it," said Orr.

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