Jimmy still continues with his busy work schedule including corporate work and his many charity commitments.
His TV work includes hotsting the BBC BAFTA tribute to the late Bob Monkhouse OBE (BBC1, March 2004) and guest appearances on Englands Dream Team (CH4) and the Saturday morning BBC1 sports show ‘In The Know’ hosted by John Inverdale.
The son of a bookmaker, Jimmy was born in Liverpool on 6th February 1940. He left school at 15 and started work as a garage mechanic but he was sacked from this and many subsequent jobs for fooling around.
At 18, he joined a touring rock n roll show which set him firmly on the showbusiness ladder of success, after which he became a Redcoat for Butlins holiday camp.
It was at this time, when he was 22, that he was spotted by the late Val Parnell and made his TV debut on Comedy Bandbox. He made several guest appearances on Sunday Night at the London Palladium for Val Parnell until he became the resident compere in September 1965.
He was soon headlining the top variety shows throughout the country as well as making his London cabaret debut at The Talk of the Town. Apart from appearing on Sunday Night at the London Palladium, his other hit series were The Jimmy Tarbuck Show and Its Tarbuck both for ATV, and Tarbucks Luck for the BBC.
At Christmas he could be found starring in pantomime and performing during the summer at leading English resorts. He also found time to visit Australia and Hong Kong to appear in cabaret and in 1975 he appeared in his own television game show Winner Takes All for Yorkshire Television. This ran until 1986 and was followed by Tarbys Frame Game, also for Yorkshire Television.
In the late 70s, Jimmy started to appear as a guest on The Parkinson Show and these appearances were to cause a resurgence in his popularity as one of Englands leading television comedians, but he still did not neglect his golf and was honoured to play in the Bob Hope Classic in America.
The 80s found Jimmy signing a five year contract with London Weekend Television to present Live From Her Majestys which was aired in 198384 and 1985, followed by Live from the Piccadilly in 1986 culminating with Live From the London Palladium in 19871988. During this period he also had a television series called Tarby and Friends. This was a very successful talk show, which was aired by London Weekend Television in 198486 and followed by Tarby After Ten in 1988.
The 90s found Jimmy appearing in summer seasons, pantomime and yearly concert tours. He is regarded as one of Englands leading after-dinner speakers and hosts many of the top award and business presentation shows as well as many TV guest appearances.
He has been honoured by an hour long special of This is Your Life and has found time to write two books -Tarbuck on Golf, which went to the top of the bestsellers followed by Tarbuck on Showbiz which was as equally successful. He has received the top Variety Club of Great Britain award of Showbusiness Personality of the Year and he has been made an Officer of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem for his charity work.
He is recognised as one of Britains top cabaret artistes and after-dinner speakers and his love of golf has never wavered. He holds The Jimmy Tarbuck Golf Classic annually in either Spain or Portugal and has been captain of Coombe Hill Golf Club. He regularly plays in charity golf matches throughout the country and is a life long supporter of Liverpool Football Club.
In 1994, Jimmy was honoured by being awarded the OBE for his services to showbusiness and charity. His TV special from London Weekend Television An Audience with Jimmy Tarbuck was aired in October 1994 and received top ratings and critical acclaim.
In 1995, as a direct result of An Audience With., London Weekend Television presented Jimmy in a late night talk show series entitled Tarbuck Late. This was in addition to Jimmy appearing on television programmes such as Fantasy Football (BBC2), Room 101(BBC2), Schofields Quest (ITV) and The Des OConnor Show (Thames TV). He also found time to make a comedy golf video entitled Jimmy Tarbucks Nightmare Holes of Golf. He made two concert tours of England one with Gerry & The Pacemakers and the other with his own show supported by Kenny Lynch. In December 1995 Jimmy appeared for three weeks at the prestigious new Paradise Rooms on Blackpools Pleasure Beach.
1996 saw Jimmy with a new BBC1 series entitled Full Swing, which was an exciting game show based on golf. This was aired for eight weeks from May 1996. He also appeared on Talking Telephone Numbers, The Greatest, Sport in Question, and presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Cilla Black at the British Comedy Awards 1996.
July 1996 saw Jimmy filming with Julie Walters and Robert Lindsay for a new television film for BBC2 entitled Brazen Hussies, which was aired at the end of that year. In August, Jimmy acted as host on the BBCs The National Lottery Live! and also released a new golf video entitled Nightmare Holes of Golf II. Carlton also released An Audience with Jimmy Tarbuck on video with great success.
October 1996 saw Jimmy host a London Weekend Television special entitled Happy Birthday Shirley, which was aired in January 1997 as a tribute for Dame Shirley Basseys 60th Birthday and in December that year Jimmy release a single with Kenny Lynch and Bruce Forsyth called Winter Wonderland under the name The Three Fivers which gained notoriety in the news after it was reported that the Three Tenors were contemplating legal action. 1996 culminated in Jimmy being honoured by the Guild of Professional Toastmasters with the Ivor Spencer Best After-Dinner Speaker Award for 1996.
In 1997 Jimmy continued with his numerous corporate engagements and also appeared as a guest on TFI Friday (Channel 4), The Clive James Show (LWT) and hosted The Police Bravery Awards for The Sun newspaper.
In 1998 saw Jimmy appear as a guest on The Mrs Merton Show (BBC1), which received popular reviews, Call My Bluff (BBC) and the Dale Winton Christmas Special. Jimmy also presented a new six-part series for BBC Radio 4 entitled Funny Bones, the first of which was aired on 4th November 1998. In November 1999, Jimmy filmed his cameo role in a new film entitled Strictly Sinatra.
In 2000 Jimmy appeared as a guest on Parkinson and also presented a new television special entitled Lifes A Pitch (BBC1). In April, Jimmy appeared as a guest for BBC1 on Dales All Stars and also recorded a special for Carlton Television entitled Stars And Their Lives hosted by Carol Vorderman which was aired in July. He was also a guest on Celebrity Ready Steady Cook, which was aired in May and he undertook a short UK tour in August through to October at theatres including Weston-Super-Mare, St. Helens and Whitley Bay.
In 2001, Jimmy recorded his part as the father of Linda Green in the new BBC1 sitcom Linda Green, which as we know Jimmy does with his daughter Liza in real life!
In 2002 Jimmy made a welcome return as a guest on the Parkinson show and later in the year hosted the New Comedy Awards for the BBC, which took place in Edinburgh. He continued with his many corporate functions and charity commitments including his appointment as President of Diabetes UK, a role he took over from his much loved and much missed friend Sir Harry Secombe.
Spring 2003 saw Jimmy back on tour again in the UK with dates including Blackpool, Manchester, Croydon and Oban in Scotland. In July Jimmy was asked to be a guest host on The Terry & Gaby Show, the daily show on Channel 5 and was such a success he was asked to return again in September. In November that year the Lady Taverners honoured Jimmy at a lunch held at the Dorchester Hotel, London where many paid tribute to his long standing and successful career in showbusiness.
Jimmy completed another successful UK tour in November-December 2003 and also made a guest appearance on radios Desert Island Discs (Radio 4) hosted by Sue Lawley and on the Christmas special of Question of Sport (BBC1) with his old pal Ian St. John.