Idris Elba Narrates “Don’t Quit” Coronavirus Message For BBC

Actor Idris Elba has narrated a coronavirus message for public broadcaster BBC as the U.K. marks one of the worst daily death tolls recorded to date out of Europe.

The morale-boosting video, entitled ‘Don’t Quit,’ was released Friday night, and has Elba — who was among the first actors to reveal a coronavirus diagnosis in March — narrating Edgar Guest’s eponymous poem against a montage of news footage detailing the U.K.’s battle against COVID-19, including parked airplanes, empty grocery shelves and shuttered businesses, as well as more uplifting moments such as applauding National Health Service (NHS) workers, violinists playing out their windows in self-isolation and shows such as “Question Time” continuing without an audience.

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will; when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill; when the funds are low but the debts are high; when you want to smile but you have to sigh; when care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you must but don’t you quit,” says Elba in the 90-second film (below).

The video, commissioned by BBC Creative, comes after the U.K. recorded 980 hospital deaths in a single day (April 10), surpassing both Italy and Spain’s most fatal days, which were 969 and 950, respectively, according to the BBC.

Elba continues: “Life is strange with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns; and main failures turn about, when we might have won had we stuck it out. Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow; you may succeed with another blow.

“Success is failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt. And you can never tell how close you are; it may be near, though it seems so far. So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit; it’s when things seem worst that you must not quit,” says Elba, who is separately calling for the public to submit videos of how they’re coping for another montage project set to Emanuel’s song “Need You.”