Idris Elba cherishes his Family Affairs experience

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 26 July 2021
Idris Elba

Idris Elba

Idris Elba still has fond memories of his time on the now-defunct soap ‘Family Affairs’

Idris Elba will always cherish his time on ‘Family Affairs’.

The ‘Luther’ actor starred in Channel 5’s now-defunct flagship soap from its launch for over a year and although the show never attracted a lot of viewers, he was proud of the way the network took risks on newcomers and it boosted his confidence.

Idris – who played Tim Webster on the show – said: “It was great. I had this ghetto celebrity status, doing my DJ thing at night, doing TV all day. My friends were loyal. Still are.

“At the time Channel 5 didn’t have lots of viewers. Few thousand, probably?

“But because they were a new channel they were courageous, they put lots of new young actors on screen, and I hold the experience close to my heart. It was a time that exploded my confidence.”

The 48-year-old actor currently plays his own father, the late Winston Elba, in Sky One comedy series ‘In The Long Run’ and it’s been a “joy” for the star to look back on his childhood memories for the show, which is a fictionalised version of his own east London upbringing.

He said: “That show was a joy to make, a joy to share. It brought back memories that blew my mind. It was a rollercoaster.”

But Idris admitted the tone of the show could have been very different.

He told the Guardian Weekend magazine: “We’d chosen to make a comedy. It could quite easily have been a drama, though, about what life was really like in the early 70s for African families in London. But we made it a comedy. And that was the rollercoaster, changing storylines to be more ideal than the reality. You make something a comedy. But life’s not like that. Life’s not a comedy.”

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