Detectives are to launch an investigation after a BBC presenter told TV viewers that he carried out a mercy killing on a former lover who was suffering from Aids, police said today.
Ray Gosling, 70, revealed last night that he had smothered the unnamed partner as he lay in hospital "in terrible, terrible pain".
A spokeswoman for Nottinghamshire Police said the force had not been aware of the issue until the broadcaster made his revelation on BBC East Midlands' Inside Out programme.
She added: "We are now liaising with the BBC and will investigate the matter."
The BBC said it would "co-operate fully" with a police investigation.
Mr Gosling said he was not "making a cause" of assisted dying but said there was a case for changing the law.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he said: "Sometimes doctors do it on their own. Sometimes people do it on their own.
"And if it happens to a lover or friend of yours, a husband, a wife, and I hope it doesn't, but when it does sometimes you have to do brave things and you have to say - to use Nottingham language - bugger the law."
Speaking on the 30-minute Inside Out programme, which was broadcast at 7.30pm yesterday, Mr Gosling said: "Maybe this is the time to share a secret that I have kept for quite a long time.
"I killed someone once... He was a young chap, he'd been my lover and he got Aids."
Strolling through a graveyard for a segment of the show about death, he broke down as he recalled the day he took his lover's life.
He said: "In a hospital one hot afternoon, the doctor said 'There's nothing we can do', and he was in terrible, terrible pain.
"I said to the doctor 'Leave me just for a bit' and he went away.
"I picked up the pillow and smothered him until he was dead.
"The doctor came back and I said 'He's gone'. Nothing more was ever said."
Gosling, a freelance presenter of hundreds of radio and TV documentaries, said he had no regrets about his actions, adding: "When you love someone, it is difficult to see them suffer.
"We'd got an agreement, if it got worse, the pain, and nobody could do anything.
"He was in terrible pain, I was there and I saw it. It breaks you into pieces."
Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying, said: "This case yet again demonstrates that this is a real and present problem, which can affect us all.
"The law is out of step with what society needs and wants.
"Crucially, Ray Gosling's loved one was terminally ill and clearly asked for help to die when he was suffering unbearably at the end of his life.
"This illustrates a need for formal assisted dying legislation to help those who want choice at the end of life, as well as protect people who may be vulnerable to coercion."
Aiding or abetting another person's death is illegal in England and Wales under the 1961 Suicide Act, and is punishable by up to 14 years in jail.