Jimmy Tarbuck was arrested at his New Malden home in connection with an allegation of child sex abuse in the late 1970s, it emerged last night.

The comedian, 73, was released on police bail after the arrest on April 26, in which he was questioned about an alleged incident involving a child in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

It is understood that Mr Tarbuck was arrested by officers from North Yorkshire Police.

The arrest is not part of Operation Yewtree, the investigation set up following the death of serial paedophile Jimmy Savile in 2011, but officers working on that inquiry passed information on to their counterparts in North Yorkshire.

A police spokesman said: "North Yorkshire Police can confirm that a 73-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a historical child sex abuse investigation in Harrogate.

"He was released on police bail pending further inquiries."

Mr Tarbuck is married, with three children, including the television and radio presenter Liza Tarbuck.

The popular entertainer received an OBE nearly 20 years ago for services to showbusiness and charity and is an avid golfer and member of Coombe Hill Golf Club