- Success can come later in life
My greatest successes in Gavin & Stacey and EastEnders came later in my career, out of the blue and at the same time. I was known as an actor and working all over the world, but those roles really put me on the map. It was rather nice that it happened just as I was hitting my 60s. It was a lovely gift. I am still in touch my lovely TV wife, Alison Steadman. We live near each other and see each other now and then.
- Keep active whatever your age
It makes sense to stay fit and healthy as you get older. The clock is ticking louder and I want to stay alive as long as I can so my girls have got a Daddy for as long as I can give them one. I eat sensibly - a lot of vegetables and fruit - and I stopped drinking four years ago when the hangovers became unbearable. But I don’t miss it. I drank a lifetime’s worth and I am still a bon viveur - I just don’t drink anymore. I also try and do some form of physical exercise every day to keep me feeling good - half an hour of core muscle exercises for my posture followed by half an hour on the exercise bike. I used to suffer from terrible hip and knee pain until I started taking a supplement called GOPO Joint Health. Arlene Phillips recommended it to me and I have never looked back. It’s extraordinary.
- Health is wealth
When you have a major illness it makes you value your health more. A few years ago I caught malaria from a mosquito bite in Africa. I hadn’t finished the complete course of anti-malaria tablets when I came home and the fever affected the nerve endings in my ear. Now I have 80 percent hearing loss. Social gatherings aren’t great when you’re quite deaf, but I’ve adjusted to it.
- Act young, feel young
In my latest TV role in New Tricks, I play a retired cop called Ted Case who is about ten years younger than me, so I have to keep up. I am flattered when people describe me as a silver fox. It’s better than being called a crochety old man!
- Late parenthood is a blessing
I went about parenthood in a different way second time around – I was more emotionally mature. When my son George (35) was growing up, I was in my 30s and 40s and my focus was my career. Now my kids Eloise (15) and Eva (11), are my focus. They keep me on my toes. I am more homely – I cook them breakfast and make sure they get to school on time. They are the joy of my life. And George and I have what many people consider to be a really extraordinary and enviable relationship. I am lucky.
- Keeping active is key
The clock is ticking louder and I want to stay alive as long as I can so my girls have a Daddy. I eat sensibly – lots of vegetables and fruit – and I stopped drinking four years ago, but I don’t miss it.
- I didn’t set out to act
I love the way my life has turned out, but I’m not where I thought I would be. I started acting at 27 but before that, I had a meteoric rise in the oil business. I was living an extraordinary life in engineering in eastern Canada. Then I got involved in amateur theatre and an opportunity arose there – so I gave up everything to become a full-time actor.
New Tricks, the final series, is on BBC1 on Tuesdays.
Larry was talking to Jane Oddy.
For more information about managing joint pain please visit www.gopo.co.uk
Picture: Rex Shutterstock