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Larry Lamb has said the worst thing about being an actor is the lack of security and revealed being typecast isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The actor and presenter – who has starred in EastEnders, Gavin And Stacey and New Tricks – also said age played a major part when it came to the kind of roles on offer, especially for women.

When asked about his career, which has seen him go from acting to presenting, Larry, 68, said: “I think the downside for a life as an actor is there’s no security whatsoever. The point is I work for a living. I’ll be working ’til I drop, so if there’s more of a variety of work that I’m up for, that makes life more interesting.

“I was very lucky in that late on in my career I had those two bursts of success with EastEnders and Gavin And Stacey. That profile you gain from doing those things lets you do other things. Suddenly you become eligible for things you would have never got a hit at, like Disappearing Britain, which I absolutely loved doing, so it’s a whole new string to my bow.”

Larry Lamb



(Ian West/PA)

The small screen star also revealed that being seen as a certain kind of actor could be helpful in getting work – until you reach a certain age.

“As you come up through the business, you’re basically – if you’re lucky – typecast,” he said. “You know, you’re up for certain types of roles depending on what you look like and if you’re up for a job, you’re up against a certain number of actors. Gradually you know all your direct competition.

“Once you hit your sixties, that’s it. Your age is the classification. You can be up against people you’ve never been up against before and it’s the same for women, it’s just there are fewer women’s roles.”

Larry is currently appearing on our screens in Disappearing Britain on More4, in which he travels around the country finding out about its heritage and traditions.

As well as interviewing artists, artisans and castle owners, he also bumped into none other than Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch.

“It was a mere happenstance,” Larry recalled. “He just happened to get out of a car, so that was incorporated into the programme because he’s interested in keeping hold of what there is left in Soho [and is part of the Save Soho campaign to protect the area’s distinctive character], so that was just the strangest quirk of chance.

“I didn’t get to know Soho until I was 30 and started acting, but in that period of almost 40 years, it’s changed incredibly. It’s still a fascinating place to be.”

Disappearing Britain continues on Thursday nights on More4.