Idris Elba reveals how ‘really dark times’ growing up on Hackney council estate inspired 'therapeutic' In the Long Run

IDRIS Elba has revealed how ‘really dark times’ growing up on a Hackney council estate inspired the 'therapeutic' In the Long Run.

The Sky comedy returns later this week for its third season, and sees Idris reprise his role as Walter once again, who has to deal with his mother arriving from Sierra Leone.

The series is inspired by Idris' real life growing up in Hackney, with the 47-year-old striving to find the humour in all situations, even when there were "dark times".

Speaking to The Sun's TV Mag, Idris said: "The question: ‘What makes a good comedy?’ – I can’t tell you what makes a good comedy, [co-star] Bill [Bailey] could probably do that.

"But I do know that telling the truth about your experience, finding the funny side of things that you’ve been through tends to make really good comedy because people can either relate and go: ‘That happened to me.’ or: ‘That’s funny because I relate to it this way.’

"I set out to tell the story of a portion of my life which when I look back I laugh my head off thinking about the people I met, the people that inspired me, the area we grew up in."

He continued: "I’m so proud to come from Hackney on a council estate and the mad diversity of who inspired me as a kid. It wasn’t designed to poke fun at, it was definitely designed to be like: ‘Look at life, this is what life can offer you and look at the funny side of it.’

"There are some really dark memories of that time as well but again, the show’s designed to look at the lighter side of it, tell stories that look at the lighter side of it.

"I can’t say I’m some comedy genius because I’m definitely not, this is just life. As Bill said earlier, life can be funny you know?"

Idris created the show – which is set in the 1980s – and also spoke about how much he enjoys working with the writers to pull the scripts together.

He said: "It’s a collective of thoughts. The writers room is very much based on therapy – me sitting in a room and talking to a bunch of writers, some of which hadn’t even lived in the era and some who were very aware of the time and what was going on.

"So it became this really beautiful round robin. And this season we definitely delved into the lovely cast as tweel."

In The Long Run series three returns on Thursday, July 23 at 10pm on Sky One. Read more from Idris in this week's TV Mag, free every Saturday only in The Sun.

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