A veteran British broadcaster is to be charged with wasting police time after he claimed in a television documentary that he killed an ex-lover who was dying of AIDS, officials said Friday.

Ray Gosling was arrested on suspicion of murder in February after making the dramatic confession, which is thought to date back to the 1980s, and was interviewed several times by police during a major investigation.

But now the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says there is evidence to show that the confession was "false".

Gosling, 71, could face six months in jail if found guilty of wasting police time.

"The police established that there was sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of proving that Mr Gosling's confession was false," said Helen Allen of the CPS in a statement.

"After careful consideration of all the evidence, I decided that Mr Gosling should be prosecuted for wasting police time."

He is now due to appear in court on September 14.

In a BBC programme the presenter told of how he had taken his lover's life after they agreed to a pact in the early days of AIDS.

"In a hospital one hot afternoon, the doctor said, 'There's nothing we can do', and he was in terrible, terrible pain," Gosling told viewers. "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."

Helping people with terminal illnesses to commit suicide is a hotly disputed topic in Britain, where it remains illegal.

The issue has been thrown into sharp focus by a series of high-profile recent cases. These included two mothers who killed their seriously ill children, one of whom was jailed and another who was not.