BBC Agrees to Investigate Famous Diana Interview

Princess' brother has said the family was deceived in 1995 by fake documents
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2020 4:35 PM CST
BBC to Have Interview With Martin Bashir Investigated
Princess Diana arrives at the Tate Gallery in London in 1997.   (AP Photo/Jacqueline Arzt)

Under pressure from Princess Diana's brother, the BBC has announced it will commission an outside investigation into how it obtained her family's support in obtaining a 1995 interview. Charles Spencer has accused Martin Bashir, who conducted the interview, of faking documents to make it appear people connected to the British royal family were selling information about Diana. The princess' brother then introduced her to Bashir. "The BBC is taking this very seriously and we want to get to the truth," a BBC boss said, per the Guardian. "We are in the process of commissioning a robust and independent investigation." The broadcaster said Bashir, who now is the BBC's religion editor, is unavailable to be interviewed on the matter because of health problems.

"There is a very dark cloud hanging over BBC journalism," said Michael Grade, a former BBC chairman. The investigation's findings should be made public, he said, per the BBC. "There's only one way to clear this up and that is with an independent inquiry to be published." Nearly 23 million people watched live as Diana told Bashir, "there were three of us in this marriage"—referring to the relationship between her husband, Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker-Bowles. Another British broadcaster, ITV, said it plans to air an interview with a graphic designer who says Bashir had him produce the fake bank documents. The BBC absolved Bashir in 1996 but not the designer; the news chief said Matt Wiessler "will not work for the BBC again." Wiessler, who did leave, said it was clear he was being made "the fall guy." Now, Wiessler says, "All I want is for the BBC in this instance to come forward and honestly make an apology." (Read more Martin Bashir stories.)

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