BBC pulls Panorama probe into Martin Bashir's Princess Diana interview & 'will not air until after Philip's funeral'

BBC pulls Panorama probe into Martin Bashir's Princess Diana interview & 'will not air until after Philip's funeral'

04/12/2021

THE BBC has pulled a Panorama episode probing Martin Bashir's Princess Diana interview following Prince Philip's death.

A 30-minute special on the explosive 1995 Panorama interview was due to air tonight.

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But the broadcaster has pulled the show after the tragic announcement of the Duke of Edinburgh's death on Friday.

A new air date has not been set but the episode will not air until after Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday.

A source told The Telegraph: "There is no way the BBC could run the investigation into the Diana interview on Monday.

"It was due out then but a decision was made within minutes of the Duke’s death to postpone the broadcast. There’s no new date yet but it will now wait until after the Duke’s funeral and will run at some point after that.”


The Panorama investigation has explored how Bashir – the BBC's current religious affairs editor – secured the interview with Diana.

He has been accused of tricking the tragic royal into taking part using fake documents but police are not pursuing a criminal probe.

Bashir also allegedly peddled 32 lies and smears to the princess to clinch the Panorama chat, in which Diana famously said: "There were three of us in this marriage".

She also admitted to her infidelity with Army captain James Hewitt, and questioned Charles’s suitability as king.

Bashir is also alleged to have told Diana she was being followed and that Prince Charles had been having an affair with Harry and Williams' nanny.

His alleged lies are blamed for fuelling Diana’s fears about her safety and privacy.

He also reportedly told Diana's brother – falsely – she was under surveillance and those close to her were plotting against her, all to make her feel increasingly paranoid.

The BBC launched an independent inquiry last year to find out how Bashir – then a relatively unknown journalist – convinced Diana to speak so publicly.

Ex-judge Lord Dyson has been appointed to handle the probe.

Prince Harry, 36, and Prince William have both welcomed the inquiry.

In a break with precedent, William previously said in a statement: “The independent investigation is a step in the right direction.

"It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.”

Former BBC director-general Lord Hall investigated Mr Bashir in 1996 after questions were first raised over how he secured the bombshell interview.

The BBC has previously said in a statement about the earlier probe Bashir had admitted commissioning fake bank statements allegedly used to blackmail Diana.

However, it is unknown if he faced any sanction.

Bashir is understood to still be off sick after getting Covid last year and having a heart bypass.

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