The BBC will air the Panorama documentary tonight on their investigation into how journalist Martin Bashir obtained his infamous interview with Princess Diana in 1995.
The interview became famous for Princess Diana’s honest remarks about the hidden details of her life inside the royal family, and her failed marriage with the Prince of Wales.
The release of the documentary coincides with the findings of an inquiry into the interview led by Lord Dyson.
Here’s all you need to know about the documentary.
What is the BBC Panorama documentary about?
Titled, Princess Diana, Martin Bashir and the BBC, the documentary will look into the inside story of how Martin Bashir obtained his career-defining interview, and how the BBC responded when it discovered he had faked bank statements and shown them to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer.
The documentary will be fronted by journalist John Ware, after the Panorama team carried out its own four-month investigation into how the interview was secured. The documentary will feature exclusive interviews and revelations from internal BBC documents.
When is BBC Panorama Princess Diana special on?
BBC Panorama’s documentary into Martin Bashir’s famous interview with Princess Diana is on BBC One on Thursday 20 May at 7pm.
The broadcast was delayed last week due to a “significant duty of care issue”, according to the broadcaster.
Who is Martin Bashir?
Martin Bashir is a British journalist who rose to prominence with his 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana.
The interview featured intimate details of the failed marriage between Princess Diana and Charles, Prince of Wales, as well as Diana’s life inside the royal family.
At the time, it was watched by 23 million people.
Bashir was the recipient of various awards for the Diana interview, including a BAFTA Award, TV Journalist of the Year from the Broadcasting Press Guild, and Journalist of the Year from the Royal Television Society.
In 1999, Bashir moved to ITV where he worked on special documentary programmes and features for Tonight with Trevor McDonald. In 2004, Bashir moved to New York where he worked for ABC as a co-anchor for their current affairs programme Nightline, along with Cynthia McFadden and Terry Moran. In 2005, he took over Nightline from Ted Koppel.
Last year Bashir also appeared on the celebrity spin off version of the X-Factor, where he was eliminated from the show after week three.
On 14 May 2021, Bashir resigned from the BBC on grounds of poor health, and he is said to be seriously unwell with Covid-19 complications.
What’s the inquiry into the Diana interview about?
An investigation into the infamous Diana interview had been led by Lord Dyson, and looked into a claim lodged by Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, that accused Bashir of having lied to the princess in order to secure the interview.
The independent inquiry was commissioned by the BBC last year, after Spencer went public with the accusations.
The investigation was launched after Spencer alleged Bashir showed him fake financial documents relating to his sister’s former private secretary Patrick Jephson, and another former royal household member, and told lies about the royal family to gain access to the princess.
The findings of the investigation were published today, Thursday 20 May, and concluded that Bashir used deceitful methods to secure the interview, in breach of BBC editorial rules.