Tuesday 23 October 2018

Idris Elba: New show is set in an era when people were thicker-skinned

The comedy is loosely based on the star’s own experience of growing up in East London.

Idris Elba
Idris Elba

By Julia Hunt, Press Association Entertainment Correspondent

Idris Elba has said his new comedy The Long Run reflects the less sensitive era he grew up in, when people were “thicker-skinned”.

The Luther actor stars as a father named Walter in the show, which is loosely based on his own childhood growing up in East London in the 80s.

The series displays a multicultural London and the scripts include some moments of casual racism evident at the time.

I wanted people to be reminded that, as PC as we all are now – which is fine, it’s good – we were thicker-skinned back then Idris Elba

Elba, 45, told Radio Times magazine: “It’s good that that’s come across because in early, early talks that was something I wanted to be upfront about.

“I wanted people to be reminded that, as PC as we all are now – which is fine, it’s good – we were thicker-skinned back then.”

He added: “Not that it makes casual racism right, but actually in the long run we all got along with it.”

The star continued: “At one point my character’s wife says something like: ‘They’re English, they don’t know any better.’

“And there’s an Asian character who is casually racist towards Africans.

“We wanted to make sure it was a full picture.”

Elba said the series will appeal to viewers who want to “step outside of dreary 2018 – where everything is very sensitive – and just laugh with a community of people that you can relate to, one way or another”.

The Long Run starts on Sky1 on March 29.

The Radio Times is out on Tuesday March 20.

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