BBC presenter Andrew Marr has admitted that a gagging order by the High Court was put in place to keep his affair with a fellow political journalist a secret from the public.

Marr also revealed that he had paid maintenance for a child for several years before a DNA test revealed that he wasn’t the father of the girl after all.

But now Marr, who himself has come forward to speak about the gagging order, says he is embarrassed about the situation, and believes that the use of the court injunctions have spiralled “out of control”.

“I did not come into journalism to go around gagging journalists,” 51-year-old reporter Andrew Marr said to the Daily Mail.

“Am I embarrassed by it? Yes. Am I uneasy about it? Yes. But at the time there was a crisis in my marriage and I believed there was a young child involved.”

“The injunction allowed me and my family the time and space needed to repair and heal itself at a very difficult time.”

But Marr added that he believed that gagging orders, if used, only should be limited to a period of time.

“I know these injunctions are controversial, and the situation seems to be running out of control,” he said.

“There is a case for privacy in a limited number of difficult situations, but then you have to move on. They shouldn’t be for ever and a proper sense of proportion is required.”

Marr’s extra-marital affair with the fellow journalist ended in 2003.

Marr has been married to political interviewer and Guardian columnist Jackie Ashley for 23 years, and they have three children together, a 21-year-old son and two daughters aged 19 and 1.

Marr has confirmed they are still together as a family.