After months of learning, practising and waiting, Lam finally got his chance to stand in front of the microphone. The editing technology of that time meant that if an actor made a mistake, they would have to start again from the beginning. Lam remembers he was extremely nervous when he walked into the studio, even though he had just one line of dialogue.
“My character was a cop, with only one line: ‘Freeze! Drop your gun! FBI!” Lam recalls. His debut in the movie Federal Bureau of Investigation went smoothly and he made it into the cut.
It was in 1982 that Lam encountered his favorite role, Ding Dong (Doraemon). “It is because Ding Dong is vivacious. Besides, it is easier to catch the shape of the mouth as his mouth is very big,” Lam explains and laughs.
Ding Dong became very popular soon after the cartoon was broadcast. It has been 30 years since he first came across the character, which was later given back its original Japanese name, Doraemon. Whatever the name, the cat has come to symbolize Lam but he still feels a deeper connection with the Cantonese name Ding Dong.
Lam has become a big Ding Dong fan and has attracted a fanbase of his own. The fans write him letters and share with Lam their everyday lives. Most of the Doraemon dolls and figures at Lam’s house are gifts from his fans and some are souvenirs from his colleagues. Among all the gifts, Lam likes a remote-control Doraemon toy the most. He gingerly takes the toy out from the cupboard. “A fan delivered it to TVB. It’s over 30-years-old,” Lam says while he looks at the toy.
Apart from the fans and the gifts, what warms Lam’s heart even more is that he can always find his biggest fan at home. His daughter also loved watching Ding Dong and listening to her father’s voice on TV. Influenced by him, she is now also working at TVB as a voice actor. The father and daughter have already acted in the same scene. “I remember it was in Desperate Housewives, but it is not that special to me,” Lam says.