Idris Elba

Apple to its core: the slow and steady rise of Apple TV+

Two statistics released in recent months have made people sit up and pay attention to the burgeoning progress made by the streaming service Apple TV+. In May, the Jason Sudeikis-fronted football comedy drama, Ted Lasso, became the first Apple show to feature in Barb’s SVoD average UK monthly audience top 20.

It came in at number 18, with around 963,000 viewers – well below the most-watched (Netflix’s Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, seen by around 3 million) but a milestone nonetheless.

Working Lives: Creative Director

Behind the scenes shot of Idris Elba appearing at the Fifa Football Awards

What does the job involve?

At Collective Media Group, which has been going for 18 months, I look after all sport and sports entertainment projects, which includes developing and producing formats, series and live events for a global audience.

My background is in big sports entertainment shows such as Sky’s A League of Their Own and ITV’s Soccer Aid. We also work with governing bodies, such as Fifa, on its Football Awards, and the Ryder Cup, and rights holders such as Sky Sports, ITV and the BBC.

Tom Hollander and Idris Elba to star in The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

The animation will be hand-drawn in full colour and will take audiences of all ages on a heartfelt journey as the boy’s unlikely friends join him on his search for home.

Tom Hollander will star as ‘the mole’, Idris Elba as ‘the fox’, Gabriel Byrne as ‘the horse’ and newcomer Jude Coward Nicoll as ‘the boy’.

On adapting his book for the screen, creator Charlie Mackesy said: “The journey of making the film of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse with my ridiculously talented and kind animation team has been a magical one.

Comfort Classic: The Wire

The Wire (credit: Now TV)

Twenty years ago this June, a series described by its creator, David Simon, as a “novel for television”, premiered on HBO in the US. Simon had shrewdly pitched The Wire to the cable network as a cop show; its title refers to the use of electronic surveillance to catch drug dealers. His writing partner, Ed Burns, was an ex-Baltimore cop; Simon had worked for the Baltimore Sun as a police reporter. They knew their subject.

Memorable TV performances of the decade

(credit: BBC/Luke Varley/Two Brothers/AMC/ITV)

Series binging over weekly releases has become the new norm, and brand new, high-quality TV content seems to be in endless supply.

The competition for viewers’ attention has intensified tenfold, and the leading broadcasters have risen to the challenge.

At the beginning of a new decade, we look back at some of the most memorable performances and series of the last ten years.


First look at Idris Elba’s new comedy In the Long Run

In The Long Run

The comedy features an ensemble cast with Elba at the helm as family man Walter Easmon, alongside wife Agnes (Madeline Appiah), son Kobna (Sammy Kamara), Walter's younger brother Valentine (Jimmy Akingbola) and Walter’s best mate Bagpipes played by comedy favourite Bill Bailey.

The series, loosely based on Idris Elba’s own childhood, follows the story of Walter and Agnes Easmon whose life is all about quiet routine. They arrived from Sierra Leone 13 years ago and work hard to pay the bills, raise son Kobna as well as support their family back home. 

Idris Elba and Bill Bailey to star in Sky 1 comedy In the Long Run

The Luther star joins forces with Bill Bailey who plays his best friend in the programme.

The show is the latest in a line of British comedies for Sky 1 which also includes The Reluctant Landlord from Romesh Ranganathan, and Sick of It from Karl Pilkington, best known for Sky programme An Idiot Abroad.

The series of commissions is part of Sky’s effort to corner the market on daring, late night, grown up comedy programmes, to air in the 10pm slot on Sky 1.

Luther returns for fifth series

The multi-award winning drama will return to BBC One, with Idris Elba reprising his role as DCI John Luther.

Details of the latest series are being kept under wraps, but there's no doubt that it will be full of scary surprises.

Writer Neil Cross said: "It can't be over, can it? There's so much we don't know. So much unfinished business. The thing is, we've been asking ourselves the same question. I'm scared of the monsters. The face at the window. The hand under the bed. The shadow at the end of the street. Who's going to stop them, if not John Luther?"

BBC announces New Talent Hotlist and new commissions

Some of the leading creatives from across the BBC identified over 200 one and off screen talent of the future at the event.

The New Talent Hotlist features fresh new voices taking risks in front of and behind the camera and reflecting the diversity of modern Britain in the creative industry.

"Finding and supporting the next generation of new talent - both on and off screen - is a vital part of the BBC’s remit," said Tony Hall.