Veteran BBC presenter Ray Gosling has admitted that he did tell police the name of the man he claimed to have suffocated in a mercy killing.

Mr Gosling, 70, revealed he had killed a lover who was dying of AIDS on a BBC programme last week but swore he would not reveal any details about who the man was.

He was arrested last Wednesday by Nottinghamshire police on suspicion of murder and released on bail the next day.

Previously, he said he would refuse to name the man, the hospital in which the alleged killing took place and when it occurred.

But today he told the Nottingham Evening Post: “If I’d not told them who it was, I’d still be locked up now. What happens to me, I’ve got no idea.”

Mr Gosling said he would not tell anyone else the man’s name in order to protect his family. “It was a private love affair,” he said.

The killing is thought to have happened around 20 years ago. Mr Gosling has hinted that the man was much younger than he was and said he had been dying of AIDS.

He said on the BBC programme Inside Out last Monday that a doctor had hinted he should end his lover’s life.

The presenter claimed to have smothered the man with a pillow.

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.

Mr Gosling is on bail and is due to report back to police in April.