In The Long Run: Idris Elba on his semi-autobiographical sitcom

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Through his roles in beloved TV shows like The Wire and Luther, and massive movies like Prometheus and Pacific Rim, Idris Elba has become a household name the world over. And now, he’s inviting us all into a fictionalised version of his own childhood household, for a semi-autobiographical sitcom entitled In The Long Run. 

Set in 1985 in London, In The Long Run is coming to Sky One at the end of this month. Elba created the show and plays a character inspired by his own father. Young actor Sammy Kamara plays a boy named Kobna, who is the same age that Elba would have been at time.

“It’s a bit of a mish-mash, to be honest,” Elba says in an interview with The Independent, speaking about the mix of fictional events and true stories in the show. Elba continued:

“It really is just a good look at the Eighties, which was when I was turning from boy to teenager. It’s looking at what London was like then, especially east London, where I came from.

“Kobna is meant to me as a kid. And it’s really weird sometimes looking up, seeing parts of my life being displayed. Remember, though, that this isn’t exactly a carbon copy of my life: this is its own thing.”

Additionally, speaking of the more serious elements of this sitcom, Elba said this:

“It does look at Walter’s younger son Kobna being bullied […] And it puts a lens on racism and what it was like in the Eighties. But in truth, it was a lot more in-your-face than how we show it, if anything. We don’t ignore it, but we don’t make it the focus. We wanted to show what bound people together, not what divided them.”

We look forward to tuning in, having a few laughs, and learning a little about what Elba’s experiences in the eighties were like. There wasn’t much representation for black families on TV at the time, and we’re glad to see that Elba is using his influence in tellyland to correct that.

In The Long Run debuts on Sky One on March 29th.

The Independent