British actor Idris Elba has recorded an album in honour of late South African leader Nelson Mandela.

The Wire star worked on the project in South Africa after completing filming for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, in which he plays the anti-apartheid hero, and he made the record to thank the civil rights activist for allowing him to portray him in the biopic.

He tells Britain's Daily Star newspaper, "The album will be called Mi Mandela. I went back to South Africa and worked with some great musicians. I'm really proud of the album. I'll wait until the film has died down so it doesn't get muddled but I'll release it in the new year (14). Basically it's a love letter from me to Mandela about me playing him."

Mandela died on 5 December (13), aged 95.