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How BBC’s Martin Bashir lied to get Princess Diana 1995 interview

Photo: BBC


How BBC’s Martin Bashir lied to get Princess Diana 1995 interview


According to inquiry outcomes, a BBC journalist used “deceitful behaviour” to win an explosive interview with Princess Diana in 1995, in a “serious breach” of the broadcaster’s guidelines.

In a statement issued on Thursday, William slammed the BBC while defending his late mother. “I would like to thank Lord Dyson and his team for the report,” the Duke of Cambridge started his speech, addressing the British judge who headed the inquiry, John Anthony Dyson. “It is welcome that the BBC accepts Lord Dyson’s findings in full – which are extremely concerning – that BBC employees: lied and used fake documents to obtain the interview with my mother; made lurid and false claims about the Royal Family which played on her fears and fuelled paranoia; displayed woeful incompetence when investigating complaints and concerns about the programme; and were evasive in their reporting to the media and covered up what they knew from their internal investigation.”


William went on to say, “It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said. The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others… It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her. But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived. She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions. It is my firm view that this Panorama program holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again. It effectively established a false narrative which,for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialized by the BBC and others.”

Harry, Duke of Sussex, went even further, blaming the media for his mother’s death in 1997. Many people believe that the paparazzi who followed her contributed to her death in a traffic accident in Paris.



“The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life,” Harry said. “To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it. That is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these — and even worse — are still widespread today. Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication.”

The BBC has released an apology after an inquiry into the unconventional reporting practices used by journalist Martin Bashir to obtain facts about Princess Diana’s marital problems in 1995.

Accusations were leveled against Bashir during the broadcast of “The Diana Interview: Revenge of a Princess,” on ITV last November. Bashir, according to sources, asked a graphic artist to doctor fake bank statements that he showed to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, in order to entice her to do an interview with him. Then, he allegedly lied to BBC executives about whether he had shown false papers to anyone.


“Although the report states that Diana, Princess of Wales, was keen on the idea of an interview with the BBC, it is clear that the process for securing the interview fell far short of what audiences have a right to expect. We are very sorry for this. Lord Dyson has identified clear failings,” BBC Director-General Tim Davie said in a statement.


“While today’s BBC has significantly better processes and procedures, those that existed at the time should have prevented the interview being secured in this way,” he continued. “The BBC should have made greater effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the time and been more transparent about what it knew. While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology. The BBC offers that today.”


Bashir said in a statement that he sincerely regretted faking the bank statements, calling it “a stupid thing to do” but that “the bank statements had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview.”

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