British actor Idris Elba has detailed the racist abuse he suffered as a young boy growing up in London.
The star, whose father emigrated from Sierra Leone and who mother was originally from Ghana, was born in the racially diverse area of Hackney – but soon moved to a less-accepting area filled with followers of the right-wing National Front party.
“I’d been shielded from racial tension, but when we moved I felt it full whack,” Idris, 44, explained in an interview with The Telegraph.
“It was a National Front area and there were no black people. I remember walking down the street and being called a ‘black ****’,” he continued. “No one talked like that in Hackney.”
As a youngster, Idris recalls that he was regularly targeted by racist soccer fans as he came home from school.
“My school, Trinity, was just off the Barking Road, which would take all the National Front supporters to the football at West Ham (football club),” he told The Telegraph.
“They’d come past our school, and if we got on that bus on a game day... mate, if you were Indian or black you were getting it,” he added. “Eggs thrown at you, the whole thing.”
It’s not the first time Idris has been caught up in a race-related controversy.
When it was revealed he was a front-runner to replace Daniel Craig in the iconic role of James Bond, the books’ author Anthony Horowitz described him as “too street” to play to super-spy.
“He’s a bit too rough,” Horowitz told The Daily Mail.
The author later apologised for his “clumsy” choice of words, saying he was “mortified…to have caused offence”.