Prince William’s BBC criticism discussed by Jobson
The tactics used by Mr Bashir to secure the 1995 Panorama interview are currently at the centre of enormous controversy after the publication of the Dyson report last week, which revealed he has used forged invoices to persuade Diana’s brother Earl Spencer to speak to her on his behalf. Prince William subsequently issued a strongly worded statement condemning the journalist, as did Prince Harry.
Speaking to Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme Today, Mr Davie was pressed on the subject.
He insisted: “I have no intention of ever airing the interview again. I think we need to discuss clips and reflect on that.
“If you take our Panorama programme, where I note that no other organisation in the world would let their journalists investigate ourselves.”
Prince William has asked that clips of Martin Bashir’s interview with Diana never be screened again
Prince William has claimed the interview added to his mother’s stress
However, he said: “I think there is a legitimate case about whether you need clips to show the context of that interview.
“My view is that you cannot now look at this interview free from the context in it which is was secured.
“So any use of clips have to be considered in that context.”
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Martin Bashir was rehired by the BBC in 2016
Tim Davie, director-general of the BBC
Mr Davie also admitted he did not know why Mr Bashir had been rehired by the BBC in 2016, but that an investigation was now underway.
With respect to the central allegations relating the deception, he added: “I think some of the most disappointing and shocking elements of this, and there are multiple failings of which we have apologised for, are things like the whistleblowing, how did that work?
“The very person who raised this – and I know many staff feel very strongly about this – the very person who raised this as an issue, suffered enormous impacts, which we’re very sorry for.
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Princess Diana is interviewed by Martin Bashir in 1995
Princess Diana with Prince Harry and Prince William as children
“That cannot happen again. We have improved processes but I want to look again at things.”
Speaking on Thursday, Prince William said: “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.”
Royal Family tree
Diana had been failed no only by a “rogue reporter”, but also by leaders at the BBC, the Duke of Cambridge claimed.
He added: “It is my firm view that this Panorama programme 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 commercialised by the BBC and others.
Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother
“This settled narrative now needs to be addressed by the BBC and anyone else who has written or intends to write about these events.
“In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important.
“These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down too.”