Jimmy Tarbuck emotional as he reveals he had lunch date with Michael Parkinson

The stars got together just days before Parkinson's death

Harry Secombe service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey Jimmy Tarbuck and Michael Parkinson
Jimmy Tarbuck and Michael Parkinson. (PA Images/Alamy)

Jimmy Tarbuck was emotional as he revealed that he had made a date to see Michael Parkinson for lunch this week.

The veteran comedian and entertainer saw the talk show host - who he said was a "giant friend" - last week, just days before Parkinson passed away at the age of 88.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, he said: "Last week at the house I was with young Michael, his son.

Read more: Michael Parkinson fans moved as BBC airs touching tribute to 'true TV great'

‘I said, 'I’ll go now, you’re getting a bit tired.' He said, 'OK, thanks for coming. Do you want lunch next week?'

"I said, 'You arrange it and I’ll be there.'

"And unfortunately, I won’t."

Tarbuck, 83, said that Parkinson was "simply the best" and that he was a "giant" in the industry.

"But by God, I'm getting choked now," he went on.

"He was a giant friend. And he was a giant friend to me."

He went on: "And the talk shows? None of them have come near him since.

Jimmy Tarbuck paid tribute to Michael Parkinson. (ITV screengrab)
Jimmy Tarbuck paid tribute to Michael Parkinson. (ITV screengrab)

"He was just delightful, delightful company.

"And a very modest man. You didn’t see him go in anywhere and go, 'I'm Michael Parkinson.'

"He would walk in, well-dressed and good fun, I mean, great fun!"

Parkinson's family said in a statement that he passed away at home after a brief illness.

FILE - British broadcaster, journalist and author Michael Parkinson poses for photographers as he arrives for the memorial of broadcaster Alan Whicker, in central London, Wednesday, May 28, 2014. Michael Parkinson, the renowned British broadcaster who interviewed everyone from Muhammed Ali, David Bowie and Miss Piggy, has died. He was 88. In a statement Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023 to the BBC, his family said Parkinson died “peacefully at home last night in the company of his family.
Michael Parkinson died at the age of 88. (AP)

Tributes have poured in, with David Attenborough, Piers Morgan and David Beckham among those remembering the legendary TV star.

Read more: Michael Parkinson: Attenborough among stars saying goodbye to 'best interviewer in the business'

BBC director general Tim Davie called the star "the king of the chat show".

"Michael was truly one of a kind, an incredible broadcaster and journalist who will be hugely missed," he said.

Watch: Michael Caine and Elton John pay tribute to Michael Parkinson