Golden Globe-winning actor Idris Elba is slated to take on a completely new kind of role, with his first foray into comedy in the form of new television series In the Long Run, a Sky Original Production, that has been scheduled for a March 29 debut at 10 pm, on both Sky One and streaming service NOW TV.
The show will be set in East London in 1985, and is loosely based on Elba's memories of his childhood growing up as the son of Sierra Leonean immigrants. Elba's parents, who married each other in Sierra Leone, moved to London, where his father found work in a motor factory. Idris became involved in acting in school, and later worked with his uncle in his wedding DJ business.
Elba will take on the role of family head Walter Easmon, with his wife Agnes played by Madeline Appiah and son Kobna played by Sammy Kamara. This is Appiah's first role as a series regular, having had roles in Partners in Crime and EastEnders, whereas Kamara has previously acted in television movie Damilola, Our Loved Boy.
Jimmy Akingbola of Arrow and Holby Blue fame will be playing Walter's brother Valentine, who arrives from Sierra Leone, exuberant and full of life, upending the quiet routine that the Easmons have been used to for the past 13 years since they arrived from Sierra Leone, working hard to support themselves and their family back home.
Valentine brings with him laughter, music, and chaos, igniting in Kobna a passion for music, as he finds work in the city and falls in love.
The series will follow the family as the couple has their patience tested by Valentine, who wins their son over with his fun antics.
Bill Bailey, renowned for his timeless sense of humor and witty stand-up, has already proved his comedic mettle in Black Books, Spaced, and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and he will be playing Bagpipes, the Easmons' hapless neighbor, with Kellie Shirley (Carly Wicks in EastEnders) as his wife Kirsty, and Mattie Boys (Jake the Magnificent) as their son Dean, Kobna's best friend.
In the Long Run has Idris Elba and Gina Carter (Moone Boy) as executive producers, Charlie Hanson (Extras) as producer, Declan Lowney (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa) and Cecile Emeke as directors, and Grace Ofori-Attah, Claire Downes, Stuart Lane, and Ian Jarvis as writers.
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