Idris Elba applauded for 'zombie knife ban' campaign - but BBC viewers distracted by 'odd' interview feature

Idris Elba applauded for 'zombie knife ban' campaign - but BBC viewers distracted by 'odd' interview feature

WATCH NOW: Idris Elba speaks out on knife crime on BBC Breakfast

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 25/01/2024

- 09:26

The Luther actor has called for the government to do more

Luther actor Idris Elba distracted several BBC Breakfast viewers on Thursday morning thanks to his choice of background when he joined the show to discuss the banning of zombie knives.

The government is seeking to clamp down on zombie-style knives with a vote in parliament today which is believed to close loopholes left by previous legislation.

Policing Minister Chris Philp has said the new law would make it illegal to "import, to sell or to possess - even in private, like your house - the knives that are being banned today".

Campaigner Elba has accused the government on not giving knife crime on the streets the "focus it deserves" and speaking on BBC Breakfast today he welcomed the proposals.

"This is a symbolic step in the right direction," he told Charlie Stayt. "It is only a step in the right direction because there is such a long road to go.

"There's so many facets to this issue that need to be addressed but banning them outright - the sale, the manufacture of them in our country - is a step in the right direction and I feel that's a good step.

Idris Elba

Zombie knife ban: Idris Elba appeared on BBC Breakfast to back the legislation


"It's a small win for the families, for the victims, that are sitting there wondering why our government hasn't done something like this earlier.

"Even though they have done it before, they left so many loopholes it allowed the sales to continue. So this feels a lot more robust, a lot more thinking has been put into the banning of it and hopefully there aren't any loopholes."

Elba did point out that swords weren't covered in the ban and he felt this still represented a "big issue" but did explain why this was the case.

"(There) are a few reasons why swords aren't included because some swords are considered collector's items, some swords have historical value but overall we believe that if you have a sword and it's a family heirloom or has historical value, (you) have a licence for it," he added.

Charlie Stayt and Idris Elba

Idris Elba: The Luther actor distracted fans with his background during the BBC interview


"Furthermore, I think swords in this country are not needed on the streets."

Elba was inundated with praise following the interview as one person said on X, formerly Twitter: "Listening to @idriselba on BBC Breakfast this morning, parent to parent, he’s got all the right ideas. Time we started listening I think."

A second agreed: "@idriselba morning fella. Keep banging the drum. We all need to try & save our kids futures for the greater good."

"@idriselba on @BBCBreakfast this morning talking about knife crime. Totally right, we need realistic solutions and involve the voice of families in the solutions. Also whilst the drive is there for stricter charges we must recognise the reality behind carrying is far more nuanced," another echoed.

However, among the support for Elba's cause were some who weren't best pleased to see the actor had left an array of kitchen knives out on a counter behind him.

Taking aim at the choice of scenery, one viewer penned: "Anyone else think it’s odd, Idris Elba petitions to ban knives, in his kitchen with his knife block next to his head. I’m supporting him, just seems odd. Broadcast LIVE from any other room dude."

"Idris has his knives on show ffs #BBCBreakfast," a second fan said while a third agreed: "#idris. Odd isn’t it - why did he, as a strong advocate against knife crime, have his kitchen knives on show."

And a fourth criticised: "Let's ban zombie knives but over my shoulder is an alternative.... #BBCBreakfast." (sic)

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