ITV's director of television Peter Fincham expressed his sadness on hearing Mel Smith had died, describing the news as a "big moment" for the industry.
Speaking from the Latitude festival, Peter said he would remember Mel more as a friend than as a comedian - he was his partner in a company they ran together called Talkback Productions.
He said he would remember Mel as a "gentle man" who "wore his extraordinary talent very lightly".
More top news
North Korea is willing to hold talks with the US, Pyongyang's delegate to the Winter Olympics has said.
The shadow Brexit secretary said it would be "better" to reach "bold" new trade agreements by working with the EU.
Two other men missing on Scotland's hills this winter have yet to be found.