"Madrid is the most vibrant city I've lived in"

Lamb and co-star Marion Bailey in a scene from Brighton.
Lamb and co-star Marion Bailey in a scene from Brighton. / SUR
  • Actor Larry Lamb talks to SUR in English about his love for Spain and his latest film, Brighton, which gets its Spanish premiere in Marbella tomorrow

He's an English actor famous for playing Archie Mitchell in Eastenders, Mick Shipman in Gavin and Stacey and for getting covered in snakes during I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Now Larry Lamb is set to hit the screens again when he stars in the British film Brighton - which gets its Spanish premiere at the Marbella International Film Festival (MIFF) tomorrow, Saturday.

Directed by fellow Brit Stephen Cookson, the film follows two working class couples on a day trip to the beach, which ends with a "vengeful act of violence".

Larry, who lives in London, remained tight-lipped about the ending, but told SUR in English: "The couples go to Brighton for a day out and do nothing but moan about how things have changed. And then it all goes wrong."

The 72-year-old added that the film will appeal particularly to older people, before adding: "But I think younger people will find it funny as well. It's pretty full-on in terms of the language and quite blue at various times. If this was on television, you'd hear little other than bleeps."

As for the filming, Larry explained that the movie was actually shot in Hastings over a three-week period in March this year.

He said: "We were fortunate enough to get really beautiful weather in terms of sunshine. However, it was so cold we were suffering with brain freeze and it was pretty difficult to do anything other than concentrate on the work frankly."

In the film, Lamb stars alongside Phil Davis, Lesley Sharp, Marion Bailey and Adjoa Andoh.

As for his appearance in Marbella this weekend, Lamb is no stranger to the Costa del Sol town, having been at the MIFF two years ago for his part in Rise of the Footsoldier 3, but he admits Marbella is "not at the top of the list" of his favourite Spanish cities.

"I'm much more a wild country man myself," he explained.

"I spent a whole year in Spain in the 1980s. I know the country well, and whilst I'm sure people have a jolly good time in Marbella, I don't go to Spain for beach holidays, I go there to get up in the mountains, get out in the country or visit historic places of interest.

"Madrid is my favourite place. I was there for several months and it's the most vibrant city I've lived in. And that was back in my thirties when I had the stamina to live the way they did. As the saying went: 'Madrid me mata', (Madrid kills me) - it's the heart of Spain."

Lamb added that he also spent time in Andalucía, Extremadura and Murcia.

"I was in Granada in 1983 making a big American/Italian mini-series on the life of Christopher Columbus back in the days when we were actually filming in the Alhambra. It really was something else."

As for what's next, Larry said that he's just finished filming the Christmas special of Gavin and Stacey, which is due to air on the evening of Christmas Day.

He said: "It's a one-hour episode, but I would imagine there are about 30 million people who will be very happy with one hour, I don't think there will be any complaints.

"Meeting up with the cast again was great, it was like a big family re-union. You make a family-like bond, and there you all are, the same characters, in the same situations, in the same old houses and off we went again. It was lovely."


The red carpet screening of Brighton will premiere at the Teatro Goya Cinema in Puerto Banús at 6.30pm on Saturday 5 October.

The screening, in the presence of Larry Lamb and Stephen Cookson, will be followed by a question and answer session.

A limited number of tickets are available at Teatro Goya Cinema.