Idris Elba to Create, Star in Semi-Autobiographical Comedy Series ‘In the Long Run’

Series follows a British family whose life gets turned upside down

Idris Elba is moving away from dramas and Stephen King fantasies. The actor is set to star in the new comedy series “In the Long Run,” which is based loosely on his childhood, Sky 1 announced Wednesday.

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

“In the Long Run” follows the Easmon family in 1985 as their quiet life gets upended by the arrival of a relative with a passion for life. Elba will play Walter, who along with his wife Evelyn arrived in London from Sierra Leone to make a living. Their son Akuna, born in the UK, spends his days playing football and dodging thugs. Walter works in the local factory alongside his neighbor Bagpipes, played by British comic Bill Bailey.

However, when Walter’s brother Valentine comes to town, he brings with him some laughter and becomes a fun figure for Akuna, all the while testing Walter’s patience.

“We’re honoured to be working with Idris in what is an authentic, perceptive and deeply funny show,” said John Mountague, head of comedy at Sky. “‘In the Long Run’ will surprise and delight viewers.”

The comedy is a co-production between Green Door and Sprout Pictures, the production company of British actor Stephen Fry and producer Gina Carter.

“In the Long Run” will air on Sky 1 in the 10 p.m. time slot. It’ll be joining a comedy lineup on the UK network that includes the upcoming comedy thriller “Bounty Hunters,” “Sick Note,” starring Nick Frost and Rupert Grint, and two other semi-autobiographical comedies: “Sick of It” and “The Reluctant Landlord.”

The Elba comedy will also be streaming on NOW TV.

No release date has been announced.