"No I didn't," Wilson replied.
Snow issued a quick quip, referencing Wilson's most famous character's catchphrase from the show 'One Foot In The Grave', replying with a chuckle: "So it wasn't a case of 'I don't believe it'?"
The joke prompted much scorn from social media users, with one commenter posting: "Appalling lack of taste displayed by Jon Snow. I think a lot of people will find this hard to take, or forget."
Jon Snow is a news legend but the 'I don't believe it' he shoe-horned into an interview with Richard Wilson on Alan Rickman was poor taste.— Tony Shepherd (@tonysheps) January 14, 2016
Did Jon Snow really say that to Richard Wilson - in relation to Alan Rickman's cancer? #channel4news— Saint Vespaluus (@Saint_Vespaluus) January 14, 2016
Appalling lack of taste displayed by Jon Snow I think a lot of people will find this hard to take, or forget https://t.co/AxrGo2OrUL— Julie Webster (@leedsju) January 15, 2016
On Saturday Snow apologised for making the comment. He wrote on Twitter: "I apologise unreservedly - it was a mistake in the heat of a sad moment," he admitted.
I apologise unreservedly it was a mistake in the heat of a sad moment https://t.co/3DnFGgOEPX— Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4) January 16, 2016
He was praised for the climbdown, including by fellow media presenter James O'Brien, who said it proved Snow was "a class act".
This is what an apology looks like. No 'if I offended anyone' or 'but it was taken out of context' etc. A class act. https://t.co/QfxWArKlud— James O'Brien (@mrjamesob) January 16, 2016
Others quickly followed suit.
@jonsnowC4 Jon you've apologised profusely, we all make mistakes. x— Gerry (@gerryglesga) January 16, 2016
Other social media users had their tempers enflamed after Rickman's co-star in the 'Harry Potter' series, Emma Watson, tweeted a tribute revealing the late actor was a feminist.
Hundreds of people scorned Watson, a UN ambassador for gender equality, noting the meme posted in remembrance was simply "furthering her own political agenda".