Film news

Kingston and Lewisham plays 80s Hackney in Idris Elba’s new series

24th March 2018
Idris Elba and Bill Bailey at the Czar Street Estate in Lewisham, In the Long Run

We all love Idris Elba and we love the fact that his new comedy series co-stars Kingston and Lewisham – with supporting roles from Sutton, Southwark and Lambeth.

In the Long Run is set in 1980s London when the Easmons, originally from Sierra Leone, are living quietly on a Hackney housing estate, until the brother of Walter (Idris Elba) is sent to live with them.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for many of the London boroughs where the series was shot. FilmFixer director Karen Everett explains, “The Cambridge Road Estate in Kingston hosted a great deal of filming over a week in late October early November, filming scenes extensively around the estate, along the stairwells and walkways and in front of key flats.

“All the main characters were filmed around the estate, giving residents a bit of a thrill really, to see actors like Idris Elba and Bill Bailey at work outside their homes.

“In the series, Walter’s best friend is Bagpipes, the Bill Bailey character, and both of them work at a local factory. Walter’s wife Evelyn sells makeup door to door on the estate. Their son Kobna and his best friend Dean hang about together playing football and trying to avoid local thugs.

“Idris Elba has said it was inspired in part by his own upbringing, particularly given that his father worked in a Dagenham car factory for 30 years.

“The Czar Street Estate in Lewisham helped out with key scenes filmed in December last year, where we see a boy singing from a balcony, Idris Elba giving driving lessons and Idris Elba and Bill Bailey sitting outside a garage enjoying a beer.

“The children walk through Folkestone Gardens in Lewisham talking about how they’ve never been allowed to go past the bridge on their own.

“Also in Lewisham, we see the kids waiting outside the pub for their parents. These scenes were shot outside the Wheelshunters Club in Hornshay Street.

“Walter’s dynamo brother Valentine takes up DJing, bringing a local pub to life. Those carnival style bar scenes were shot over a many days in the Peckham Liberal Club in Southwark.

“The Times Square carpark in Sutton played the carpark at 1980s Heathrow. The stars were filmed walking through the shopping centre link tunnel and getting into their car.

“And a funeral scene was shot at Lambeth Crematorium on Blackshaw Road.

“The production made donations to tenants and residents groups across the locations. We were delighted to help with locations in boroughs outside central London such as Kingston, Sutton and Lewisham. With the extra space and quieter streets, they are often the perfect places to base a series.”

Idris Elba has explained that the biographical elements of the series are, “… a bit of a mish-mash, to be honest. It really is just a good look at the Eighties, which was when I was turning from boy to teenager. It’s looking at what London was like then, especially east London, where I came from.

“Kobna is meant to me as a kid. And it’s really weird sometimes looking up, seeing parts of my life being displayed. Remember, though, that this isn’t exactly a carbon copy of my life: this is its own thing.”

Take a look at the trailer. The show starts on Sky One on March 29th.