Sir Michael Parkinson has described Ronnie Corbett as a "genuinely good soul" and said he will miss him terribly.
The former chat show host, 81, was friends with the much-loved funny man and enjoyed meeting up with him and other comedians where they would all "have a laugh".
Sir Michael, who joked that he had only really seen Corbett at funerals lately, told the Press Association: "We spent time together, which was private time. Lots of good drinks together - myself, and him and the other Ronnie, and Jimmy Tarbuck and all the mates, and Bruce Forsyth, used to get together at least once or twice a year and meet up and just have a laugh."
He added: "He was a very easy man to love. He was a perfect companion. He was bright. He could tell good stories. He was funny. He was very rarely depressed.
"Anne his wife, she'll be distraught. I mean, it was a great marriage. They've been together for many, many years, and it was a very loving partnership.
"We were just mates and I shall miss him terribly."
Sir Michael said Corbett will be "greatly missed" and recalled his "lovability".
He said: "He was talented, of course he was, and people loved that talent.
"And he had a long and distinguished career in television, one of the key figures in the development of British humour, he and Ronnie, Ronnie Barker that is, and of course in his own right."
Reflecting on what type of man Corbett was, Sir Michael said: "He was genuinely a good soul. He was a kind man."
He added: "He loved to be meticulous himself, and if he saw anybody who was sloppily dressed, particularly on the golf course, he would maybe show the sharp side that he had. He was a character, and I'm going to miss him."