BBC Radio 4 presenter John Humphrys has insisted he did not set out to humiliate George Entwistle during the interview that led to the former Director-General's resignation.
The journalist was widely acknowledged as the man who sealed Mr Entwistle's fate during a Today programme interview about his handling of a series of crises at the BBC.
Mr Entwistle spent the majority of his 54 days in the role of Director-General trying to deal with the fall-out from the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal.
Mr Humphrys told Radio 4's Broadcasting House programme he believed Mr Entwistle struggled during the Today interview because he was trying to tell the truth.
"It was all rather sad", the broadcaster said. "He did look pretty down, I must say. It wasn't a happy moment and not just because he was a colleague, which of course he was, and I both like and respect him, but you don't want to see somebody facing that sort of interview".
"I know it was said in the papers the following morning that he had been humiliated. I didn't set out to humiliate him, of course I didn't", he added.