'He wanted to take his time': Larry Lamb secretly split from long-term partner Clare Burt more than a YEAR ago... as romance with French artist Marie Victorine is revealed

It was revealed last week that Larry Lamb was dating 'lovely new lady' Marie Victorine, who greeted him from the I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! jungle. 

But it has now been claimed the former EastEnders star, 69, was seeing the glamorous French artist for more than a year as he had been separated from Clare Burt since 2014.

Larry had been dating The Bill actress Clare Burt for 20 years, but The Sun reports they they decided to keep quiet about their split as Larry is a 'private man'.

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Break up: Larry had been in a relationship with The Bill actress Clare Burt since 1996, with the couple sharing two daughters, but they secretly split more than a year ago 

A source told the website: 'Larry began dating Marie over a year ago. But he’s a private man and he wanted to keep the relationship as quiet as possible for as long as he could.

'He had been with Clare for more than 20 years and he wanted to take his time before revealing any new relationship.'

MailOnline have contacted Larry and Clare's representatives for comment. 

New romance: It was revealed last week that Larry Lamb was dating 'lovely new lady' Marie Victorine, who greeted him from the I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! jungle

Larry's new romance was revealed after he was met from the jungle by Marie - the great, great grand-daughter of Les Miserables author Victor Hugo - who campmate Martin Roberts said was his 'new lovely lady'.

Martin – who accused Larry of bullying him in the camp – let slip about Larry’s new girlfriend when he appeared on ITV's This Morning.

Describing how the pair made up in the hotel after falling out on the show, Martin said: 'By the time it was our final morning, having breakfast with Kirsty and the kids and who should walk up but Larry and his lovely new lady Marie and I just thought I need to do something here.'

There to meet him: The I'm A Celeb star sparked speculation about his relationship with partner of 20 years Clare, when she failed to meet him in Australia

Twice divorced Larry began dating Clare in 1996 and the couple have two daughters - Eloise, 17, and Eva, 13. 

He is also the father of radio DJ and television presenter George Lamb, from his second marriage to Linda Martin.   

Meanwhile, Marie, who also goes by her famous poet ancestor’s surname Hugo, lives in London, but was born in France.

When she was 16 Marie joined the National School of Fine Arts in Montpellier and is trained in engraving and lithography. She moved to Hong Kong where she started the mural for large public commissions. 

The glamorous Frenchwoman exhibits in galleries in London, Tokyo, New York. In 2007 she set up her work in the Castle of Haroué. His works are present in collections in Europe and the US.

Her great, great grandfather Victor is a world renowned poet who also wrote the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The celebrated French author published literary opus Les Misérables, widely considered to be one of the most significant literary works of the 19th century, in 1862.

Victor Hugo: A history 

Born 1802 in France, he lived under Napoleon rule and his father was a Napoleonic general 

His first novel Han d’Islande was published in 1823

His first full-length novel and one of his most famous works, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame came in 1831

Hugo's most acclaimed work was Les Misérables, a French Revolution epic he finally published in 1862 after over 30 years in the planning

It is one of the longest pieces of literature and earned over half a million francs over six years

Exiling himself after the French coup d'état in 1851, he mainly lived in the Channel Islands

Returning to Paris, he championed social change and called for the end of capital punishment

He died in 1885 a national hero

The novel would go on to spawn the most successful and second longest running musical of all time, scored by Claude-Michel Schönberg with original lyrics by Alain Boublil.

Since it first appeared in 1985 in London, it has run consistently in the West End, with earnings in excess of £500million. 

It headed to Broadway in 1987 and between its original run earned over $406million in revenue until it closed in 2003. 

A Great White Way revival between 2014 and this September brought in staggering $109 million.

It headed to the big screen in 2012, with Russell Crow, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway taking lead roles. Again, the story was a smash hit with fans - taking a whopping $441.8million and earning Hathaway her first Academy Award.

Described by the show as 'Larry's friend', Marie was seen by viewers greeting Larry with a big hug before they spoke in French together when he was voted out of the jungle.

Larry speaks fluent French and has owned a home in Normandy for the past two decades.  

Spilling the beans: Larry's campmate Martin Roberts has described Marie as Larry's 'lovely new lady'

Let slip: Martin appeared on ITV's This Morning on Thursday where as well as discussing his acrimonious relationship with Larry in the jungle, he appeared to let slip that Larry has a new girlfriend

Marie was seen talking about the EastEnders star as she was driven to meet him from the jungle, telling the camera: 'I am very proud of Larry. He has been busy looking after everybody, which I must say he does always.

'I will give him a big hug. He deserves it – more than one!' 

The Sun report that Larry was pictured at a charity event in Hereford alongside Marie in October, a month before he entered the ITV reality show. 

 Artist: Marie Hugo lives and works between London and France, where she was born. At the age of sixteen, she joined the National School of Fine Arts in Montpellier and is trained in engraving and lithography

Connections: Marie also uses the surname Hugo and is the great, great granddaughter of French writer Victor Hugo

Open: The pair have been open about their romance on social media

Larry spoke out on his family while competing in the ITV show I'm A Celebrity. 

After telling his campmates he has a long lost daughter, the actor sent a heartfelt appeal last week for his daughter and secret granddaughter to get in touch.

The star has a daughter Vanessa he has only seen once in 40 years with his ex-wife Anita, and an 18-year-old grandchild who is reportedly studying at university in London.

He told The Daily Mirror: 'I have to say if my daughter or my granddaughter were to contact me, I, and all my extended family would be thrilled.'

New love: Larry speaks fluent French and has owned a home in Normandy for the past two decades

Reunited: The pair looked ecstatic to be back together when Larry was evicted from the jungle

Urging his long-lost family to contact him, he added: 'You can't start denying that sort of thing because it is something deep inside of me.

Speaking about how the topic came up in the I'm A Celeb jungle, he said: 'This is something that I find very moving, which is why, when the conversation came up, there was no way I could sit there and say "No, no"'.

The actor added that he felt like it was 'not my place' to get in touch with Vanessa and his first wife Anita after she remarried. 

The Daily Mirror reported that Larry fathered a daughter, Vanessa, with his first wife Anita, and only saw her once when she was seven months old. 

Missing someone? Larry spoke out on his family while competing in the ITV show I'm A Celebrity

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