Veteran broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby admitted to trying cocaine and called for decriminalisation of the drug to be seriously considered.

Radio 4’s Any Questions? host said he’d tried both coke and cannabis in his younger years.

Dimbleby, 67, said: "I had cannabis twice in my early twenties. And once, in America (at around the same age), I did a line of cocaine.

"I sneezed it all over the place much to the dismay of the people around who saw it as this precious substance. It tickled my nose, and then it blocked my nose. And I had no experience from it at all."

He said he might have used it again if he’d have experienced “a tremendous buzz” but he hadn’t touched a speck of the white stuff since that incident.

He said it was “ridiculous” to criticise politicians and other public figures for experimenting with drugs while they were at university.

But he did attack middle-class cocaine users for unwittingly fuelling a drugs war, saying he had a "a sort of contempt for cocaine sniffers in this country who are intelligent middle-class people, but do not realise that they are fuelling a drugs war that is leading to misery for millions."

Dimbleby saw the effects of in South America, during filming of his new BBC2 Sunday night programme, A South American Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby.

When he was asked about the decriminalisation of drugs, he said: "Well, I think we should take the matter more seriously."

He added: "I think the criminalisation of drugs globally has produced far greater trouble for everyone than it if were not criminal."

Dimbleby also said he wanted to take part in Strictly Come Dancing’s current series, but his two grown-up children from his first marriage to writer Bel Mooney stopped him, saying it was too embarrassing.