Jonathan Dimbleby admits “I did cocaine”

Veteran broadcaster confesses to youthful drug experimentation

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BBC Radio 4 broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby has admitted to experimenting with the recreational drugs cocaine and cannabis in his youth.

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Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the Any Questions? host said: “I had cannabis twice in my early 20s. 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.”

The brother of Question Time host David also admitted that he might have carried on taking drugs if he’d experienced “a tremendous buzz”.

Discussing drugs policy in general, Dimbleby said that it was “ridiculous” to attack public figures for having experimented with drugs in their youth.

However, his recent first-hand experiences of the ravages the drugs trade causes in Colombia as part of his new BBC TV series had given him “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.”

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A South American Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby airs on Sunday evenings on BBC2.