LED Zeppelin's frontman Robert Plant has reflected on his friendship with bandmate John Bonham whose sudden death broke up the British rock band.

The eight-time Grammy award-winning singer remembered first meeting Bonham at the age of 16, who approached him after performing with a local band in 1965.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, Plant said: "He was big, he had this way about him and he said 'look you're going somewhere really special, but you will never get there without me' and he was right.

"John and I walked a million miles together."

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Pic: Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Bonham after receiving their awards in the Melody Maker Pop Poll in London (PA)

The Black Country-born lead singer who lives near Kidderminster said he was "intimidated" when guitarist Jimmy Page recruited him and drummer Bonham to join bass player John Paul Jones in the rock band Led Zeppelin.

"I knew when Led Zeppelin began, John Bonham and I were coming from the Black Country.

"We were big fish there, but we were suddenly alongside John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page who were really seriously accomplished, far more mature and pretty well versed in all the different elements of melody and construction and stuff like that, so it was kind of daunting in a way.

"Although I really wanted to be around excellence, when I came head to head with it I was really kind of intimidated."

Speaking about his first rehearsal with the band, Plant added: "We just kicked off with a piece in a small room and it was just overwhelming.

"It was like all the doors and windows in the house of cards were open, we just blew right through the walls of the cellar and right through the world."

While on tour in America with the band in 1977, Plant discovered his five-year-old son Karac had died after contracting a stomach virus.

Talking about bandmate Bonham's kindness in helping him to grieve, Plant said: "I came back, gathered what was left of the shards of the family and tried to put it together, I didn't rally want to do anything after that.

"But time is time, momentum, encouragement, and kindness from everybody, especially John Bonham. He and his wife were really good for me and Maureen."

In 1980, Bonham died of alcohol poisoning, at the age of 32.

Plant said: "I drove down with him on the day of the rehearsal and I drove back without him.

"He was an incredible character and so encouraging for me despite the fact he was always taking the mickey out of me and I loved him desperately.

"We really were kids and we grew up not having a clue about anything at all, just the two of us, loud, confident and mostly wrong and it was really good.

"We covered most of the squares on the board as time went by, I do miss him."

Plant added that it was "absolutely" inevitable that the band broke up following the news.

"For days and weeks I never got anywhere close to listening to the past and then suddenly I turned a corner and in the middle of it all I found myself absolutely glued to a piece of music that I was partly responsible for and I am absolutely beside myself with pride, at being able to be amongst that huge mind bomb that was the creativity of the group," he added.

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Pic: Robert Plant performs on stage at the iTunes Festival at the Roundhouse in London (PA)