Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney spoke of the day he heard that John Lennon had been killed. ITV

Sir Paul McCartney had described John Lennon's murderer as "the jerk of all jerks."

Speaking on the Jonathon Ross show, the former Beatle spoke candidly of the day he heard that his band mate had been shot dead by Mark Chapman.

Lennon was shot outside his home in New York in December 1980 by the lone gunman who believed he would gain infamy by killing the star.

Describing the moment he heard the news, he said: "I was at home and I got a phone call. It was early in the morning, I was in the country and I just got a phone call and it was like - I think it was like that for everyone.

"It was just so horrific, you couldn't take it in and I couldn't take it in and I just for days you just couldn't think that he was gone. It was just a huge shock, then I had to tell Linda (Sir Paul's late wife) and the kids and it was very difficult. It was very difficult for everyone."

"That was, like, a really big shock, I think, in most people's lives. A bit like Kennedy - there were certain moments like that. For me it was just so sad that I wasn't going to see him (Lennon) again and we weren't going to hang," he said.

Mark Chapman is up for parole and Yoko Ono is opposing it again
Mark Chapman is still in jail for the murder of John Lennon.

Sir Paul said that what made it all the more tragic was that the killer had no real motivation for his actions.

"The phrase kept coming in my head 'the jerk of all jerks'," he said. "It was just like 'this is just a jerk, this is not even a guy politically motivated, it's just some total random thing."

He said he found some comfort in the fact that he and Lennon had reconciled since their fall out after The Beatles split up in 1970 and were 'good friends' at the time of his sudden death.

"I'm so glad because it would have been the worst thing in the world to have this great relationship that then soured and he gets killed, so there was some solace in the fact that we got back together."

He revealed that the two men talked often and had conversations about normal things such as Lennon's fondness for baking bread and fatherhood.

"We were good friends," he explained. "The story about the break-up, it's true but it's not the main bit, the main bit was the affection."