Jon Snow attends a lunch to celebrate his BAFTA Fellowship on May 7, 2015 in London.
David M. Benett—Getty Images
January 16, 2016 1:00 PM EST

Jon Snow, the anchor of the UK’s Channel 4 News, apologized on Saturday for a joke he made while interviewing actor and director Richard Wilson about friend Alan Rickman, who died on Thursday at age 69 after battling cancer.

Snow was criticized by viewers who thought he made an inappropriate joke when he referenced the catchphrase — “I don’t believe it” — of Wilson’s character on the BBC sitcom “One Foot in the Grave.”

“I apologise unreservedly it was a mistake in the heat of a sad moment,” Snow said on Twitter on Saturday.

More: Here’s How Harry Potter Co-Stars Paid Tribute to Alan Rickman After His Death

During the interview, Snow asked if Wilson had known Rickman was dying. Wilson said he had.

“So it wasn’t a question of, ‘I don’t believe it?'” Snow said.

Wilson, who laughed and appeared unoffended by the question, said he had seen Rickman earlier in the week.

“To some extent, it was a release today. It was still a terrible shock,” Wilson said.

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Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com.

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