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The British actor and director Idris Elba, who many thought would be the first black James Bond, has signed a global multi-book deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books (HCCB) for a range of titles that will feature a character inspired by his daughter.

The books will feature a world imagined and developed by Elba and his writing partner Robyn Charteris, who has written many children’s titles for the BBC, Channel 4, the Jim Henson Company and Endemol.

In a co-publication deal with the US and the UK, world rights were acquired by Suzanne Murphy, president and publisher at HCCB US and Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HCCB UK, from Crystal Mahey-Morgan at OWN IT! Entertainment.

Elba said: “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to bring stories inspired by my daughter to life with my incredible partner Robyn Charteris, and the powerhouse team at HarperCollins.”

President and Publisher HCCB US, Suzanne Murphy said:  “Idris Elba is a creative force, who has many wonderful stories to tell. We are honoured to be working with him and with Robyn Charteris to bring Idris’s rich and imaginative storytelling to the world of children’s books, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the HarperCollins family.”

Murtagh said: “Idris Elba is one of the most iconic and multi-talented creatives of his generation and I am delighted that he is joining the HarperCollins Children’s Books list. From the outset, Idris had a very clear vision of the characters and stories he has imagined, and is passionate about creating books that will appeal to all children. Robyn Charteris has a fantastic track record in writing for children, working with some of the biggest producers of children’s entertainment, and I am hugely excited to also welcome her to the world of children’s books. I feel privileged that Idris has entrusted us to bring his stories to life and I cannot wait to share them with children across the globe.”

Born in London in 1972, Elba used to be a wedding DJ and held a variety of jobs, including the night shift in a car factory, when he started out as an actor.  A Golden Globe nominee and Screen Actors Guild award-winner, he has starred in many household name shows, among them The Wire and BBC’s Luther, which earned him a Golden Glob.

In 2005, he began his film career and his credits include American Gangster (Golden Globe nomination), Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom (Golden Globe nomination), Beasts of No Nation (SAG Award, Golden Globe nomination) and the Oscar-nominated film Molly’s Game.

He can be seen this April in the Netflix film Concrete Cowboy, which he also produced, and this summer he will be starring in The Suicide Squad 2. Other upcoming films include The Harder They Fall and Three Thousand Years of Longing.  Behind the camera, Idris made his feature-film directorial debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with Yardie. In 2013, he founded his production company, Green Door Pictures, to champion diversity of thought.

He has famously turned down playing James Bond, telling Event magazine:  “Bond is one of the biggest franchises in the world, and for that reason, whoever ends up playing it, lives it.  You’re that character, and known as that character for many, many years. I’m creating characters now that can still live alongside Idris. Not ones that take over me and solely define me.”

However, there is one role he can now add to his starry list:  ‘author’.