Eastenders actor Larry Lamb has attempted to explain how ‘silly boy’ Neil McDermott got himself into his recent mess.
The star – who plays Ryan Malloy on the BBC soap opera – was exposed in tabloid newspapers last weekend as being a love rat, who cheated on his wife just weeks after she gave birth to their first baby. Neil has been attending a promotional event in a night club, when he picked up a 16 year old fan and bedded her in his hotel room.
He issued a public apology to his wife and family, but was later seen leaving his marital home, with what looked like his clothes in a bin bag.
Lamb – best known as Albert Square’s Archie Mitchell – told The Sun that he thinks the character one plays can often “take over” the actor. He said:
“What a silly boy! It is so dangerous, all that.”
“They hire you because you are like the person they figure is the character, but then the character can take over.
“If you’re playing a young guy who’s a Jack-the-lad with the girls, where does it stop? It’s very difficult for the young fellas.”
He added: “Without any shadow of a doubt I was better equipped to deal with it. It’s difficult to prepare people. There are all these guys reading it about themselves that they’re heart-throbs and it’s a very confusing time for them.
“I’ve been knocking around for more years than most of them have been alive and have read all that blah about being a sex symbol. But at the end it disappears and you’re not a sex symbol.”
The star, who has recently released his autobiography, also admitted that actors are rarely properly prepared for the level of fame that comes with starring in a popular soap opera. He added:
“It’s an interesting question. Should there be people who actually counsel people about that? There is no-one to do it. In a funny way I would like young people to read my book Mummy’s Boy. I’ve written a lot about my discoveries of being an actor. It ain’t all fun. If nothing else, the entertainment industry should come with a massive health warning.”