An independent ask Finding that the BBC “did not meet its high standards of integrity and transparency”, reporter Martin Bashir acted in a “deceptive” manner to ensure his Explosive interview in 1995 With Princess Diana.
This famous panoramic Interview This is the first time that members of the royal family have spoken frankly about their lives with a strong negative attitude-Diana has not concealed anything.
She said that the royal life made her gluttony and self-harm. No one in the royal family helped her. Instead, she dismissed her behavior and called her “unstable”. She admitted to having an affair with her riding coach James Hewitt. She talked about the long-term relationship between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, her separated husband. Her famous saying was: “There are three of us in this marriage, so it’s a bit crowded.”
She also expressed doubts about Charles’s ability to be king, doubting whether she would become the queen of this country, but said that she “wants to be the queen of the people.”
Over 20 million people watched this interview, and the result was earthquake-like.it Guaranteed Diana’s position in the eyes of the world is a victim of the grievances of the ruthless monarchy and torpedo The public opinion of the royal family, especially that of Charles. And, shortly after the broadcast, the queen ordered Charles and Diana, who had been separated for more than two years, to formally file for divorce.
But when November 2, 2020In the first few weeks of the 25th week of the interview, the “Daily Mail” published a letter from Diana’s brother Charles Spencer and the 9th Earl of Spencer, accusing the BBC of “nothing at all. Be honest” and unethical behind-the-scenes manipulation to ensure interviews.
After his public statement, the BBC launched an independent investigation into the interview.
According to the findings released on Thursday, Bashir “deceived” Earls Spencer with false information to obtain an introduction from his royal sister, which he then used to get her to agree to an interview.Then when this information was first exposed, the BBC “covered up how [Bashir] Ensure the appropriateness of the interview and his methods. “
In order to gain the trust of Earl Spencer, Bashir “commissioned” an unsuspecting BBC graphic artist to produce bank documents, which seemed to show that one of his former employees had been paid by the newspaper group. The report also pointed out that Bashir produced additional bank statements, which seemed to indicate that Diana’s two current senior assistants were paid by the same newspaper group (implying that these payments were made to sell private information to tabloids). After the meeting where Bashir showed these documents to the Earl of Earls Spencer, he introduced the reporter to his royal sister.
“By approaching Princess Diana in this way, Mr. Bashir was able to persuade her to agree to an interview,” wrote Lord Dyson, the former judge in charge of the investigation.
According to media reports, shortly after the interview was first aired, the graphic designer who produced the forged documents contacted the senior management of the BBC, worried about how the documents might be used. Guardian story Published on April 8, 1996-one day later Mailed on sunday It broke the news of the existence of forged documents and accused the BBC of “concealed, cunning and misleading activities” to ensure interviews.
At that time, the BBC conducted an internal investigation and eventually cleared Bashir and panoramic, Found that these files “never” were used to get the princess to agree to be interviewed.
But in his report, Lord Dyson description The BBC’s internal investigation was “very ineffective”. He said that Bashir had repeatedly lied to his superiors about the circumstances in which he was interviewed. Other than that, the BBC did not interview Earl Spencer, but “accepted that the statement given to them by Mr. Bashir was true. “.
Lord Dyson said: “I am satisfied that the BBC has covered up in its news records the fact that it was able to determine how Bashir was interviewed.”
The interview itself was conducted in secret. The Palace Press Relations team did not know its existence until it was recorded, and only a few people on the BBC knew its existence until panoramic The broadcast date of the episode has been set. (This Chairman of the British Broadcasting Corporation According to reports, Marmaduke Hussey at the time was “very dissatisfied” with the network executives not telling him about the plan in advance. )
The timing of the interview is also very important.In her biography Queen Elizabeth: The life of a modern monarch, Historian Sally Biddle Smith wrote that Diana “very intentionally” waited until Prince Charles’ birthday on November 14 to inform the palace that she would be present. panoramic -The interview itself was broadcast on November 20, the 48th anniversary of the marriage of the Queen and Prince Philip.
Despite the “deceptive” behind-the-scenes manipulation, Lord Dyson concluded that when Diana was first introduced to Bashir, he was “enthusiastic about the idea of being interviewed on TV” and “may agree to accept anyone’s advice.” Interview”. An experienced and reputable reporter, even without Mr. Bashir’s intervention, she is confident. “
Lord Dyson said: “No matter what reservations she had about this later, Princess Diana was very satisfied with the interview at the time.”
in a statementBashir, who retired from the position of BBC Religious Editor last week, Apologized for forging documents, but insisted that they “have nothing to do with Princess Diana’s personal choice to participate in the interview.” He also provided Diana’s handwritten note to the investigation, saying that he did not show her “any documents, nor did he give it to her.[n] Any information I didn’t know before. “
The current BBC chairman Richard Sharp said the company “accepted” the report’s findings “unreservedly,” and current director-general Tim Davie also expressed this view.
David said: “Although the report says that Diana, Princess of Wales, is keen on the idea of accepting BBC interviews, it is clear that the process of obtaining interviews is far from the extent that audiences have the right to expect.” “Although today’s BBC has a significantly better process. And procedures, but the procedures and procedures that existed at the time should prevent the protection of interviews in this way.”
“Although the BBC cannot turn back the clock in 25 years, we can make a full and unconditional apology. The BBC provided this today.”
The BBC reported that the company had sent personal apologies to Diana’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, as well as Earls Spencer and Prince Charles.
On Thursday, Earl Spencer stated that if she disagreed with the interview with Bashir, he believed his sister might still be alive, and said that his reporting strategy convinced Diana that she could not trust the people around her.
He said that Bashir was “very good at amplifying people’s anxiety” and gave the impression that he would “save you in a difficult and dangerous world.”
“She didn’t know who to trust. In the end, when she died two years later, she didn’t have any form of real protection.”
Both Harry and William issued statements criticizing the media in response to the findings of the investigation Thursday.