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BBC journalist Martin Bashir used ‘deceitful behaviour’ to secure Princess Diana interview, report finds

The BBC’s current director-general, Tim Davie while accepting “in full” the finding of Lord Dyson’s report, made an "unconditional apology" on behalf of the broadcaster.

May 20, 2021 / 09:00 PM IST
Princess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding day (Image: Flickr)

Princess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding day (Image: Flickr)

An inquiry into how the BBC journalist Martin Bashir got the unforgettable interview with Princess Diana in 1995 where she disclosed intimate details of her failed marriage found on May 20 that the journalist involved had acted 'deceitfully' and the news channel had covered it up.

The BBC said in November it had appointed a retired senior judge Lord Dyson to lead an investigation after Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, made renewed complaints that journalist Martin Bashir used false documents and other dishonest tactics to persuade Diana to agree to the interview, reported Associated Press.

The inquiry by the judge concluded that Bashir had shown fake bank statements to persuade Spencer to introduce his sister to him. He said the BBC "fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark".

The interview, in which Diana famously said “there were three of us in this marriage” — referring to Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles — was watched by millions of people and sent shockwaves through the monarchy.

The BBC’s current director-general, Tim Davie while accepting “in full” the finding of Lord Dyson’s report, made an "unconditional apology" on behalf of the broadcaster.

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Davie said in a statement: “I would like to thank Lord Dyson. His report into the circumstances around the 1995 interview is both thorough and comprehensive. The BBC accepts Lord Dyson’s findings in full.

“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.

“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. 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.”

Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, have previously welcomed the investigation as a chance to find out the truth of what had happened.

With inputs from agencies
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 20, 2021 09:00 pm

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