Idris Elba narrates the BBC's uplifting coronavirus ad

Stirring spot mixes poetry, social media and clips from BBC shows

Published On
Apr 14, 2020

Editor's Pick

Actor Idris Elba—who himself had the dubious honor of being one of the first celebrities to test positive for coronavirus—narrates an uplifting new film created by the BBC designed to highlight its role as a public service broadcaster during the pandemic.

Elba recites the poem "Don't Quit" by Edgar Guest to a montage of different scenes—clips from BBC news broadcasts, social media videos and other BBC shows such as "Question Time" and "Have I Got News For You" that have had to adapt to social distancing formats.

It mingles the serious—empty supermarket shelves and medical staff at breaking point—with some of the more quirky or light-hearted moments from the last few weeks, such as the wild goats seen roaming the Welsh town of Llandudno.  The spot concludes by reminding us all that despite the hardships we face right now, “we must not quit” and ultimately, “together, we’ll get through.”

The film was created in-house by BBC Creative with direction by Dan Emmerson of Somesuch. As well as the 90-second edit read by Elba, the BBC will release two sixty-second edits in the coming days narrated by actors Vicky McClure ("Line of Duty) and Stephen Graham ("Accused") who also appears in the ad getting a questionable quarantine cut from his son. 

“This is a time when everyone is pulling together to get through this crisis. We really hope we’ve managed to capture the emotion of that and show the ways in which the BBC is trying to help by using all our resources to keep us connected and bring us closer," said Helen Rhodes, Executive Creative Director, BBC Creative, in a statement.


Apr 14, 2020
Client :
Executive Creative Director :
Helen Rhodes
Creative Director :
Lambros Charalambous
Creative Director :
Becca Pottinger
Creative :
Matt Pam
Creative :
Simon Hipwell
Head of Planning :
Michael Lean
Head of Project Management :
Diya Hofman
Agency Producer :
Liz Dolan
Production Manager :
Clare Donaldson
Production Co-Ord :
Beth Morson
Researcher :
Ed Hobson
Researcher :
Caleb King
Researcher :
Farard Painchun
Production Company :
Exec Producer :
Tash Tan
Director :
Producer :
Tom Gardner
Editor :
Tom Lindsay
Edit :
Trim Editing
Colorist :
Jason Wallis
Color :
Composer :
Alex Baranowski
Sound Mix :
Anony Moore
Sound Mix :
Mark Hills
Sound Mix Company :

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