Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Idris Elba: Coronavirus had a ‘traumatic’ impact on me mentally

Idris Elba (Ian West/PA)
Idris Elba (Ian West/PA)

Idris Elba has said coronavirus had a “traumatic” impact on him psychologically.

The star and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre, were among the first famous faces to say they had caught Covid-19.

Elba, 47, told Radio Times he is now “fully recovered” and feeling “lucky to be alive and thankful for being able to kick” the virus.

But the Luther star said the experience affected him mentally.

“I was asymptomatic so I didn’t get the major symptoms everyone else got,” he told the magazine.

But he added: “Mentally, it hit me very bad, because a lot was unknown about it.

“I felt very compelled to speak about it, just because it was such an unknown.

“So the mental impact of that on both myself and my wife was pretty traumatic.”

Elba added: “I needed the lockdown to try to get over it. And it turns out the world actually probably needed the lockdown, too.”

Elba was one of many stars who recently signed an open letter calling on the entertainment industry to invest more in black talent.

But he said he does not agree with censoring past productions.

Comedy show Little Britain, which came under fire because of the use of blackface make-up in some sketches, was recently dropped from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox.

“I’m very much a believer in freedom of speech,” Elba told Radio Times.

There should be a ratings system warning viewers that a film or show has outdated, insulting viewpoints, he said.

While not referring to a specific programme, Elba said: “To mock the truth, you have to know the truth. But to censor racist themes within a show, to pull it … I think viewers should know that people made shows like this.

“Commissioners and archive-holders pulling things they think are exceptionally tone-deaf at this time – fair enough and good for you.

“But I think, moving forward, people should know that freedom of speech is accepted, but the audience should know what they’re getting into.”

“I don’t believe in censorship,” Elba added. “I believe that we should be allowed to say what we want to say. Because, after all, we’re story-makers.”

The In The Long Run actor said boosting diversity needs a change in attitude.

“Money helps,” he said, but added: “It’s a shift in attitude, in perspective, in tolerance. And you can’t put an amount on that.”

– The full interview is in Radio Times magazine, out now.

Already a subscriber? Sign in