Larry Lamb discusses his return to EastEnders as the menacing Archie Mitchell

What do you think of Archie?
“If he was a friend of mine I’d certainly recommend he have his brain well and truly looked at! Something needs taken out, and something put back in. He’s got a screw loose. He needs a shrink to sort things out.”

Is it tough filming both EastEnders and Gavin & Stacey?
“The logistics are sorted out by the BBC, but the problem is you’ve got to keep remembering who it is you’re playing. Mick Shipman my character in Gavin and Stacey is the archetypal nice guy. Archie is the archetypal a**e hole! Even though they’re both working class fellas of a certain age, they are so different. I don’t think you’d ever get them in a pub together!”

Do you sometimes feel like he’s got a split personality?
“Like most people I’ve got a certain element of schizophrenia in me so there are those two sides to me – I can be really nice and I can be really nasty! You just switch in between the two and hope you don’t get in a muddle!”

Being so busy are you still living in France?
“France is just a place to go on holiday now, it’s too difficult to try and live there and work here. It’s great if you’re not working, but if you are, that’s it, you can’t be in two places.”

What are your interests outside work?
“I’ve got into gardening now which is amazing. And I build houses. I do up old barns and that’s really how I’ve passed the time away for years now.”

Do you think you will ever work with your son, George?
“We’ve been travelling a couple of times and there’s talk of a travel-based programme with the pair of us going off and having a father-son take on things, but we’ll wait and see.”

What is your relationship like?
“We are like mates. We advise each other. He’s like my big brother and my dad at times. It’s a very close relationship. He’ll come to me for my opinion but he’s certainly not averse to giving me his opinion on things in my life, that’s for sure!”