In The Long Run. Image shows from L to R: Kobna (Sammy Kamara), Agnes (Madeline Appiah), Walter (Idris Elba), Valentine (Jimmy Akingbola). Copyright: Sky
In The Long Run

In The Long Run

  • TV sitcom
  • Sky One
  • 2018 - 2020
  • 19 episodes (3 series)

Semi-autobiographical comedy created by and starring Idris Elba, set in mid-1980s Hackney. Also features Bill Bailey, Madeline Appiah, Jimmy Akingbola, Kellie Shirley, Sammy Kamara and more.

  • JustWatch Streaming rank this week: 4,282

Episode menu

Series 1, Episode 1

In The Long Run. Image shows from L to R: Agnes (Madeline Appiah), Walter (Idris Elba). Copyright: Sprout Pictures
Valentine Easmon's arrival upsets the gentle pace of life for his hard-working brother and his family...

Further details

Walter receives a letter from his mother telling him his younger brother Valentine is coming from Sierra Leone to live with him. Valentine's imminent arrival causes a stir on the estate, especially with Walter's wife Agnes, who believes he may be a bad influence.

On his first night, Valentine is charged with looking after young Kobna. Walter asks Bagpipes to check in on them, but before long Valentine, Bagpipes, his wife Kirsty and the kids find themselves at the local pub where a little drunken rivalry between the men gets out of hand. Agnes is returning from her rounds when she sees the children sitting outside the pub, and realises her fears about Valentine have been confirmed.


This episode is dedicated to the memory of Bella Emberg, 1939 - 2018.

Broadcast details

Thursday 29th March 2018
Sky One
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Thursday 29th March 2018 10:00pm Sky1
Friday 30th March 2018 9:00pm Sky1
Sunday 1st April 2018 11:00pm Sky1
Tuesday 5th June 2018 3:00am Sky1
Tuesday 15th October 2019 9:00pm Sky2
Tuesday 9th June 2020 9:00pm Sky2
Tuesday 14th July 2020 10:00pm Sky2
Saturday 18th July 2020 10:10pm Sky2
Wednesday 6th October 2021 10:00pm Sky Comedy
Thursday 20th April 2023 2:00am Sky Comedy
Friday 21st April 2023 2:00am Sky Comedy
Sunday 23rd April 2023 11:30pm Sky Comedy
Wednesday 6th September 2023 12:15am Sky Comedy
Friday 8th September 2023 12:35am Sky Comedy
Friday 26th January 2024 8:00am Sky Comedy
Friday 26th January 2024 7:00pm Sky Comedy
Friday 2nd February 2024 1:25am Sky Comedy
Tuesday 2nd April 2024 9:55am Sky Comedy
Saturday 6th April 2024 1:25am Sky Comedy

Cast & crew

Idris Elba Walter
Bill Bailey Bagpipes
Madeline Appiah Agnes
Jimmy Akingbola Valentine
Kellie Shirley Kirsty
Sammy Kamara Kobna
Mattie Boys Dean
Quincy Frank
Deno Driz Singing Boy
Ellen Thomas Mama (Voice)
Guest cast
Gus Barry Lee
Sonnyboy Skelton Martin
Doreen Ingleton Maureen
Bella Emberg Sheila
Arthur Nightingale Vic
Divian Ladwa Hiten
Tracy Kearney Nurse
Writing team
Claire Downes Writer
Ian Jarvis Writer
Stuart Lane Writer
Grace Ofori-Attah Writer (Additional Material)
Emma Brown Script Editor
Production team
Declan Lowney Director
Charlie Hanson Producer
Idris Elba Executive Producer
Gina Carter Executive Producer
Jon Mountague Executive Producer
Carleen Beadle (as Carleen Beadle-Larcombe) Line Producer
Ana Garanito Associate Producer
Adam Bokey Editor
Damien Creagh Production Designer
Catherine Willis Casting Director
Amanda Monk Costume Designer
Ray Coates Director of Photography
Sjaan Gillings Make-up Designer
Jay Arthur 1st Assistant Director


In the Long Run, debuting on Sky One, is both Idris Elba's first venture into comedy (both writing and starring) and his labour of love for a remembered childhood in 80s Hackney. There is terrific music, and an honestly terrific attempt to translate some of the truths about growing up black, in then and in there, and it's in many, many ways lovely. It's just getting going, so the jury's still out on whether it's actually... funny. Perhaps I don't laugh easily enough.

Euan Ferguson, The Guardian, 1st April 2018

In The Long Run television review

Charming comedy-drama with real heart.

David Stephenson, The Daily Express, 1st April 2018

Will Gompertz reviews Idris Elba's In The Long Run

That the show makes Only Fools and Horses feel edgy came as a bit of a surprise, given its creator is the actor Idris Elba.

Will Gompertz, BBC, 31st March 2018

In the Long Run review

One thing you should be able to guarantee for any programme set in the 1980s is a cracking soundtrack. And so it is with In The Long Run, the new comedy based on Idris Elba's childhood on a South London council estate.

Steve Bennett, Chortle, 29th March 2018

TV review: In The Long Run, Sky One

Some potentially interesting plotlines are set up in the first of six episodes. It'll be interesting to see how they play out.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 29th March 2018

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