Nottinghamshire police have launched an investigation after a gay veteran BBC presenter admitted killing his lover on a programme broadcast last night.

Ray Gosling appeared on the BBC East Midlands programme Inside Out last night and confessed that he had smothered to death an unnamed partner who was dying of AIDS.

According to The Times, a police spokesman said: “We were not aware of Mr Gosling’s comments until the BBC Inside Out programme was shown.

“We are now liaising with the BBC and will investigate the matter.”

Mr Gosling, 70, did not name his former partner or reveal when the mercy killing took place.

He said on the programme: “I killed someone once… He’d been my lover and he got AIDS.”

“I picked up the pillow and smothered him until he was dead… I have no regrets. I did the right thing.”

“I said to the doctor: ‘Leave me… just for a bit,’ and he went away… The doctor came back and I said: ‘He’s gone.’ Nothing more was ever said. ”

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Mr Gosling claimed the doctor had hinted that he should end his partner’s life.

He said: “There was this moment and the doctor said to me something like: ‘I will pop out and have a fag now’ or ‘go to the canteen’ or ‘go to another ward – and will you still be here when I get back, Ray?’ And I said, ‘Yes’.

“It was an invitation. Why do doctors leave extra morphine? ‘It’s in the drawer, if you need it’… Doctors are doing this every day.”

He said he was not interested in being a campaigner for assisted death rights, unlike figures such as Terry Pratchett and Martin Amis.

Mr Gosling said on the Inside Out programme last night that he and partner had “an agreement” about what should happen if nothing more could be done.

Today, he said: “Sometimes doctors do it on their own. Sometimes people do it on their own. If it happens to a lover, a friend of yours, a husband or wife, I hope it doesn’t but it does, and you have to be brave and say, in Nottingham language, bugger the law.”

He added that he admitted the killing because other people on the programme had revealed secrets.

He said: “I know that if there is a heaven he will be looking down and he will be proud of me. I don’t do worries. I did what I did from my heart. In my country, for my people, in my way. They expect that from me. I would have felt a traitor if I hadn’t.”

The police have not yet contacted the BBC, although a BBC spokeswoman said the corporation would cooperate fully with any investigation.

Aiding or abetting another person’s death is illegal in England and Wales under the 1961 Suicide Act.

Those convicted can face up to 14 years in jail.