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Comedy legend Jimmy Tarbuck says ‘Tom Jones is getting me through cancer nightmare’

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Comedy legend Jimmy Tarbuck has revealed he is having a cancer test the day after he turns 80 this week – but best pal Sir Tom Jones will help keep him laughing.

The star started to fear he might have prostate cancer after suffering some of the telltale symptoms.

And he credits rocker Rod Stewart – who has survived the disease – with giving him the courage to finally go and get tested.

But it’s The Voice star Tom, 79, who will support him through his ordeal.

Jimmy, whose birthday is on Wednesday, said: “The day after, I am going in for an operation and I will be getting myself right again.

“They need to do a biopsy to find out if I have got prostate cancer.

Tom and Jimmy have been pals for decades and used to enjoy boozy meals together in Chelsea
Tom and Jimmy have been pals for decades and used to enjoy boozy meals together in Chelsea

“Jonesy knows. He is very helpful and gives me a lot of encouragement. I regard him as a great friend. Tom is always good fun and good company and we always have a good laugh.

“I will see him in between him doing The Voice and in between me having the operation.”

He added: “The thought of having prostate cancer is scary but I am determined to face it head on – and that’s because of learning that Rod Stewart has gone through it too.”

Jimmy saw the rocker at a charity event in November when Rod first publicly announced he had been diagnosed with the disease.

At the time Jimmy was experiencing symptoms, including blood in his urine and the frequent need to urinate.

Jimmy is to have a biopsy to shed light on his symptoms
Jimmy is to have a biopsy to shed light on his symptoms

He said: “It was very brave of Rod to announce his fight with the disease and they did a great show raising a lot of money to help fight it.

“I listened to what Rod had to say when he was on stage and when he said, ‘I have beaten it’ that gave us all a boost. And I was thinking, ‘If I have got it then there is hope.’

“Rod has basically given me the courage to speak about it.”

Liverpool-born Jimmy and Welsh man Tom have been pals for decades.

They used to enjoy boozy meals at their favourite restaurant, La Famiglia in Chelsea.

Tom Jones previously had a cancer scare after finding blood in his urine and having the frequent urge to pee

Recent get-togethers have been more sober affairs after both stars gave up alcohol.

But Jimmy joked he might fall off the wagon for his birthday celebrations, after his op.

Tarby, who is married to Pauline, and has three children and five granchildren, said: “I thought I might have one glass of wine and five straws to share with my wife and kids. But now I think it might be five glasses of wine with one straw.

“I might need it when I come out of hospital.” It’s not the first time Jimmy has faced a health battle. In 2006 he had to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing with heart problems.

Of this week’s test. He said: “It’s best to know now because I want to grab another few years. My health has been fine since I had the stents put in and, please God, I’m still here.

“I will make a deal with Him. I want a few more years and a bit of fun. And then I will say, ‘Thanks very much you have given me a great life.’

Jimmy has faced some hard times too. In 2013 he was arrested over historic allegations of sex abuse. Police never proceeded with a case and Jimmy said he should never have been caught up in Operation Yewtree.

He reveled: “For all of us who went through that, it was shocking. It ruined so many people’s lives.”

Jimmy was caught up in Operation Yewtree and was arrested over sex abuse allegations
Jimmy was caught up in Operation Yewtree and was arrested over sex abuse allegations

Looking ahead Jimmy has no plans to cancel his tour dates this year. He said: “I am doing a one man show and I will try and do a few concerts with Des O’Connor.”

Jimmy, whose career has lasted more than 50 years, was awarded an OBE for services to charity and showbiz in 1994.

He is most proud of his charitable projects.

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He said: “One of my greatest achievements is the fact the name Jimmy Tarbuck has been able to raise an awful lot of money for children.

“I am part of the Variety Club Golf society and it has done enormously well. I am very proud to be a small part of that.”

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