Having successfully cracked America with standout roles in The Wire, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, American Gangster, and Thor, London-born Golden Globe winner Idis Elba is returning to his roots to produce a new UK sitcom.
Sky announced today (3 October) that the 45-year-old actor had teamed up with comedian Bill Bailey for, In the Long Run, a new Sky 1 show based loosely on his childhood.
Set in London in 1985, the comedy will tell the story of the Easmon family. Elba plays Walter Easmon, who had arrived from Sierra Leone with his wife Evelyn 13 years before.
Bill Bailey will star as Bagpipes, the best friend and neighbour of Elba's character, Walter.
"Their British born son Akuna and his best mate Scott hang out on the estate playing football and doing their best to dodge the local thugs," the broadcaster says.
"But when Walter's brother Valentine arrives to the UK, his energy and lust for life changes everything. He crashes into their lives bringing laughter and chaos and igniting a passion for music in Akuna. And though he frustrates Evelyn and tests Walter's patience, Akuna adores his 'funcle' Valentine because after all, he's family.
Claire Downes, Ian Jarvis & Stuart Lane (The Job Lot) and Grace Ofori-Attah were enlisted to write the script.
Elba, who is best known for his portrayal of a wayward detective in the BBC series Luther, said: "I'm really happy to be in comedy, bringing some joy into a world that needs some laughs," Idris said of the new show. "With a great team behind it I look forward to people seeing it.
Jon Mountague, Sky's head of comedy, ordered the original show and described it as "an authentic, perceptive and deeply funny show. In the Long Run will surprise and delight viewers."
Elbas can next be seen starring alongside Kate Winslet in survival drama, A Mountain Between Us.