Living the Dream interviewee, radio and TV presenter George Lamb has become a familiar face on T4 and E4. The son of former EastEnders and Gavin and Stacey actor Larry Lamb, George currently hosts the talkSPORT radio show at weekends. He is also the co-founder of men’s tailored fashion line A. Sauvage.
We know from the recent Who Do You Think You Are with your father Larry that entertainment is in your blood! Just as I was being born he was starting to crack it and he had a show that ran for about six years called Triangle which kind of made him a household name. When I was young there was lots of, ‘Oh all right, Larry, how’re you doing?’, people coming and getting autographs and all the rest of it.
You attended an interesting boarding school in your teens… I went to like a hippie, vegetarian school where you develop more as a human being than an academic, for five years until the age of 16. It’s weird now when you look at 16-year-olds, I see them as little boys but I thought I was a man, I certainly felt like a man because at my school you had to do your own washing and ironing and you did the washing up and I was on my own a lot of the time, I was responsible for me.
How did you get into the music scene? I went to Richmond College. Dance music had really kicked off and I met a guy. His girlfriend’s brothers ran a successful club night and so we started to go to that and started to help them and just became their lackeys basically. Also I’d just go and hang at this record shop in Kingston. At that point dance music was still quite a cottage industry so within a year of standing around you kind of knew the intricacies of how the little dance music industry worked and you knew the right promoters because they came in selling tickets and you kind of met everybody.
How did you break into music management? A mate of mine, Simon, said, ‘Listen, I want to make this music that we’re going out and dancing to,’ and I said, ‘Alright, I’ll be your manager then.’ Yes, aged 19! We didn’t have much success at the beginning but then an old girlfriend of mine called me up and said, ‘Look, I’m working for the Ministry of Sound now and I need a driver to drive all the DJs in Ibiza.’ So then I drive all these massive house DJs round and I’d make mixed CDs of all the big tunes of the day and just slip in one of ours and I’d just tap the volume up. ‘Oh what’s this one?’ ‘This is one of ours actually…’ By the end of the summer we had a couple of tunes that had blown up and my pal Simon and another friend of ours, Tom, became this act called the Audio Bullys. We got them signed to Virgin and we went off on this mad trip for a couple of years going round the world DJing everywhere and having a wonderful time.
And in Ibiza you ended up taking a young Lily Allen under your wing, just as someone had once looked after you, there. I just kind of repaid that favour for Lily and we stayed in touch. Because I had that nice kind of brotherly relationship with her, when she came out of her record deal I said, ‘I’ll help, I’d like to get involved.’ So we made a record and I got her writing songs and I helped her make that first record called Alright Still. Audio Bullys had just had a top five hit all round the world so I had a bit of clout but for whatever reason I took this record to everybody and they wouldn’t have it. What are your goals, going forward? I’d like to have my own talk show where you can just break bread with people and talk about what’s going on in the world, rather than just talking about someone’s promo campaign and them telling me a funny anecdote about when they met Sting. I’d like to talk about stuff I think is relevant and try and encourage a little bit of breadth of thought. I wanted to make sure I had some business which is why I’ve gone into the tailoring thing. Showbiz is transient and it will go up and down, and I’d like to make sure I’ve got other things going on.
Any regrets so far? Definitely, early doors on television there were some definite fashion regrets that I can’t live down and are now immortalised on celluloid. I’m quite happy with the way my life’s turned out, I think you need to make mistakes in life, I think the main thing with mistakes is as long as you learn from them. I have made plenty of mistakes, I will inevitably make lots of mistakes going forward, I don’t really regret too much about anything. Living the Dream is every Sunday at 8pm on Sky Arts 1. See sky.com/arts