Tory peer Lord McAlpine said it was "terrifying" to find himself "a figure of public hatred" after he was wrongly implicated in child abuse allegations.
He spoke after a BBC Newsnight report on child abuse in north Wales care homes led to allegations on the internet that he was a paedophile.
The ex-Tory party treasurer told BBC Radio 4's The World at One he should have been contacted before broadcast.
He also said the BBC had left him with a "legacy" that "can't be repaired".
Some of those involved in deciding to run the report on care homes in north Wales face disciplinary measures.
Lord McAlpine's lawyer told the BBC that a number of prominent people who had named his client on the internet - including Guardian columnist George Monbiot - had already apologised.
Media watchdog Ofcom has confirmed it is investigating both Newsnight and ITV's This Morning programme over the allegations.
ITV said "appropriate disciplinary action" had been taken after a presenter inadvertently broadcast a list of names of alleged child abusers taken from the internet.
Although Lord McAlpine was not named by Newsnight, the report led to a flood of accusations about him online.
The BBC, which has apologised "unreservedly" for the report, said it hoped to reach a "settlement" of the matter on Thursday.'Extremely bad'
"I was in southern Italy. I don't have television, I don't get newspapers, we don't have the internet. To suddenly find I was mixed up in all this, and I didn't know what Newsnight was going to say, it really was a horrendous shock."
He added the BBC "should have called me" and he would have told them "that it was complete rubbish".
"They could have saved themselves a lot of agonising and money, actually, if they'd just made that telephone call."
He said "there is nothing as bad as this that you can do to people" as accusing them of being a paedophile..
"They are quite rightly figures of public hatred - and suddenly to find yourself a figure of public hatred, unjustifiably, is terrifying," he added.
The peer was asked about London Mayor Boris Johnson's comment that to call someone a paedophile was to "consign them to the lowest circle of hell - and while they're still alive".
He replied: "Absolutely. I think it describes pretty much what happened to me in the first few days of this event."
Asked if his reputation could ever be restored he said: "No, it can't be repaired.... This is the legacy that sadly the BBC have left me with."'Clearly wrong'
Lord McAlpine's solicitor Andrew Reid said he hoped an agreement would be reached with the BBC on Thursday, but said his client was aware any payment would ultimately come from licence fee payers.
The BBC's statement said: "The BBC is hopeful that it can agree a settlement with Lord McAlpine today.
TAP - It does seem odd that these allegations have been in the public domain for twenty years. David Icke, for example, published Lord McAlpine's name as associated with paedophilia in his book The Biggest Secret, written in 1998, and yet no action was taken by Lord McAlpine to have the book removed from circulation.
The magazine Scallywag carried similar allegations in the 1990s. OK the editor of Scallywag died in unexplained circumstances, as have many victims/witnesses, but is it only now that Lord McAlpine has decided to deal with the allegations by addressing them directly with threats to sue and demands for compensation. If he is , as he says, entirely innocent, and the whole thing has been caused by mistaken identity, I would only ask why he took so long to say so. He says he should have been contacted personally, and asked directly.
He says his reputation cannot be restored. Is that really so?
If he is genuinely accused by mistaken identity, he needs only make sure we all understand that, and we see Steve Messham speaking openly saying he was mistaken about McAlpine's identity, and we would all feel very sorry for him being wrongly accused. Leaving a denial so long has contributed to the situation of making the allegations believable, it has to be said. People would prefer not to believe the allegations, so undoing the damage would be very achievable.
If 'the prominent Tory abuser' wasn't Lord McAlpine, you wonder who it was, and how the misunderstanding as to identity ever arose. From David Icke today, Steve Messham said that he not only had polaroid photographs of the ‘prominent Tory abuser’, but the man had told him who he was and how he would have him killed if he ever spoke out..
JULIA - People are not innocent til proven guilty. They dont become guilty at the moment in time that a court proclaims them so. There are many many paedophiles out there who are "innocent" by that rule of thumb because they are never technically labelled guilty.
Our whole justice system is set up this way for a reason, so that guilty people are not convicted and can be labelled "innocent". McAlpine has contacts and money. He is friends with everyone in the network, including Prince Charles.
People retract their statements to save themselves. (Apart from David Icke, who continues to be heavily ridiculed).
This whole whining piece of drivel from McAlpine and his lawyer smacks of the paedophile psychopathic mind. It is all about the suffering of McAlpine. Surely the millions of children that have suffered abuse have suffered far more than anyone accused of paedophilia ever has? If you read what he says, most of it could be applied to the suffering of an abused child. Things like it being the worst thing you could do to someone.
McAlpine is twisting it around to make people feel sorry for poor little McAlpine. And we are distracted from feeling sorry for the kids, and acting to do something about it.
This is standard tactics, nothing new. Remember when the Savile story first became public, and people were upset that poor Savile was being accused after his death? Poor old Savile. Let's feel sorry for him.
As far as I am concerned, McAlpine is pretty much proclaiming his own guilt.
The end goal of any action must surely be to dismantle the whole system. Weeding out a few scapegoats like McAlpine will not fix it, though it is good mainstream publicity that such a network exists. There are so many more like him. The whole structure must be removed. And we can do that by withdrawing our support in our actions and thought.