Idris Elba loves quiet nights alone

Idris Elba loves a quiet night in on his own but admits he doesn't get them very often.

The 46-year-old actor - who is engaged to Sabrina Dhowre and has children Isan 17, and four-year-old Winston from previous relationships - insists he isn't a "grump" but he cherishes the time he gets at home without having to make conversation with anyone.

He said: "It's rarer now but I do like it if I've got the house to myself.

"I don't have to say anything, don't have to talk to anybody.

"Not that I'm a grump or anything, it's just nice sometimes, y'know."

However, the 'Luther' actor feels a "responsibility" to "put on a show" when he's out in public.

He told Red magazine: "At the core of who I am, I'd rather sit in the corner.

"[But] I think that when you're in the public eye, you've sort of got this responsibility to always put on a show.

"So, if you put me on Graham Norton's show, I'll tell a funny story and be that guy but it's not really who I am.

"I wouldn't say I was shy growing up, but I was quieter. Children who don't have siblings can spend a lot of time by themselves and I was alright doing that."

Idris' dad, Winston, died of cancer five years ago and the actor admitted that sparked his "drive and ambition".

He said: "I was there. The greatest man in the world and I watched him die.

"I know he had all these dreams - some of them came alive but most of them didn't and then just like that, he's lying in a hospital bed, gone.

"That gave me such a profound perspective. We're all sitting there moaning about A, B, and C, but the day your heart stops, that's it.

"It changed my energy - my drive and ambition went through the roof. It makes you think, like, 'F**k, I need to just go out there and do it.' "

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