Peter Fincham, ITV's Director of Television, said today that the Phillip Schofield incident was "something we shouldn't have done."
Speaking to ITV News UK Editor Lucy Manning, Mr Fincham said that Mr Schofield "realises his mistake, he apologised for it fully and extremely quickly."
"I think he's under no illusions that this was a lapse in ITV journalism," he said.
"In live television, all sorts of things can happen. That doesn't mean they should happen," he said, adding that he had received a letter from Lord McAlpine today to which ITV would respond "very quickly."