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Idris Elba Will Create and Star In an Upcoming Comedy Series Based On His Childhood

Idris Elba is the show runner of a new comedy loosely based on his childhood.

From his early days as Stringer Bell on The Wire, to more recent roles in Luther and Beast of No Nation, Idris Elba has given us many memorable gritty performances. Now, the celebrated star is trying something completely new, and we're pretty much already sold on it.


Elba will create and star in an upcoming show called In the Long Run, an upcoming comedy series loosely based on his childhood. Set in 1980s London, it tells the story of the comfortable, working class Easman family, reports Shadow and ActShadow and Act.

Idris will play Walter, a factory worker who migrated to London with his wife, Evelyn—a door-to-door makeup seller—from Sierra Leone 13 years ago. It will also follow the adventures of their British-born son, Akuna.

The family lives a mostly quiet life until Walter's brother Valentine moves in and turns things upside down—but sort of in a good way—his presence helps fuel Akuna's passion for music, and brings energy and laughter to the Easman household.

“I'm really happy to be in comedy, bringing some joy into a world that needs some laughs. With a great team behind it I look forward to people seeing it," says Elba.

We look forward to it as well!

The show will air on the UK's Sky TV, during their 10 PM slot. Stay tuned for an official premiere date!

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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