A former producer of the TV police drama, "The Bill", who is on trial for allegedly attempting to hire a hitman to kill his scriptwriter partner, has admitted he made up lies about being a village cricket umpire in order to carry on an affair with a young lover.

David Harris claimed to be officiating for Arundel Castle Cricket Club when instead he was travelling to London for "away days" with Ugne Cekaviciute, the Old Bailey heard.

Harris, 68, has denied offering £200,000 to three potential hitmen, including an undercover officer, with a view to murdering his partner of 27 years, Hazel Allinson, and start a new life with Ms Cekaviciute, 40 years his junior, whom he first met in a brothel.

Under cross-examination from William Boyce QC, Harris confirmed that he had never been in a village cricket team, and admitted his claims of involvement had been a ruse to spend more time with Ms Cekaviciute.

The prosecutor said: "Is it right that you told Hazel you were an umpire? You would say Jonathan from the village cricket team had called and you were going off to far, far villages to umpire?"

"The whole thing was an elaborate lie dreamed up by you to deceive Hazel to get regular away days with Ugne. You would tell Hazel you were an umpire on Arundel Castle Cricket Club. It was all a complete fabrication."

Harris replied: "It was."

The trial continues.