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Idris Elba in Talks to Join $1.5 Billion Bid to Buy British TV Channel

By Jack Farchy

Actor Idris Elba is in talks to take part in a bid for state-owned broadcaster Channel Four Television Corp. that could be valued at £1 billion, The Sunday Times reported. 

Elba is discussing a joint bid with Marc Boyan, a media entrepreneur who is founder of marketing company Miroma Group, the newspaper reported.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 26: Idris Elba attends the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)

The UK government announced plans to privatise Channel 4 earlier this year. The channel could fetch between £750 million and £1.2 billion ($920 million to $1.5 billion), Bloomberg previously reported, citing analyst Claire Enders of Enders Analysis.

Still, the privatisation process could take years amid wrangling from lawmakers.

Channel 4 is a commercial television station the provides news and entertainment programming. It is subjected to state-mandated responsibilities that include innovation and attracting younger, diverse audiences. The channel is known for its popular programming and reality shows, including “Big Brother” and “The Great British Bake Off” as well as “Naked Attraction,” where someone chooses a date from a group of naked contestants. 

Involvement in a bid for Channel 4 would be the latest move beyond acting for Elba, known for his roles in “The Wire” and “Luther.” In recent years, he has founded a record label and a production company, and started a London wine bar.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has been appointed by the government to oversee the sale of Channel 4 and has received at least 25 expressions of interest, The Sunday Times reported. It said that potential suitors include ITV Plc, Paramount Group, Comcast Corp., Vivendi SE and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc.

Channel 4 declined to comment on the report.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com.

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