Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson said that working with Sir Ian Holm taught him “so much”.

He added that it was a “privilege” to work with the late actor, whose death at the age of 88 was announced on Friday.

Jackson penned a lengthy tribute to Sir Ian, who played Bilbo Baggins in the Lord Of The Rings films, on social media.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premiere – London
Jackson said it was a ‘privilege’ to work with Sir Ian (Ian West/PA)

“Back in early 2000, before we started shooting our Bilbo scenes for The Fellowship Of The Ring, I was nervous about working with such an esteemed actor, but he immediately put me at ease,” Jackson said.

He added that Sir Ian’s “incredibly varied line reads and performances were all quite wonderful”, and the actor “rarely needed direction”.

Jackson said that Sir Ian revealed to him that he was suffering from Parkinson’s when he told him he would not be able to star in The Hobbit.

Tolkien UK Premiere – London
(Ian West/PA)

“Always a private man, he told us that he’d basically retired, but wasn’t announcing it,” Jackson said.

He said that they then worked out a way for him to be involved by planning to film his scenes in London.

“By the end of the dinner he nodded slowly and said, ‘Yes, I think I could do that’,” Jackson said.

“But I knew he was only doing it as a favour to me, and I held his hands and thanked him with tears in my eyes.”