The part-time actor was preparing to board a Gatwick-bound Easyjet flight from Newcastle Airport when customs staff discovered six £1.80 tubs of pease pudding in his hand luggage, accompanied by several tasty Greggs pies.

They were suspicious because the yellowish-coloured spread appeared to resemble the plastic explosive Semtex, and removed the consignment for further examination. They then told the amazed passenger that the consistency of the pudding could see it ‘technically’ classified as Semtex – at which point he invited them to taste it for themselves.

“I love my pease pudding,” the 58-year-old told the Mirror. “I think the resemblance to Semtex was pushing it a bit far as it was in containers marked ‘pease pudding’. But I did have six tubs to take down south with me.”

All ended happily as the traveller was eventually allowed through with his treats – but was advised to pack them in hold luggage on his next journey.

Pease pudding is made from split peas boiled with onion and carrot, and some wags have suggested that after a couple of hours in the bowel it can have almost as devastating an effect as Semtex.

“I was very glad that they allowed me to keep them in the end,” said the Sussex-based traveller. “It is quite hard to get your hands on pease pudding down south.”