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BBC Vows to 'Never' Again Screen Panorama's 'Deceitful' Princess Diana Interview

The decision comes one year after an inquiry into interviewer Martin Barshir's conduct.
  • Princess Diana (Photo: Everett Collection)
    Princess Diana (Photo: Everett Collection)

    BBC director-general Tim Davie announced on Thursday that the broadcaster will "never" again screen its Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, originally broadcast in November 1995.

    The announcement comes after an inquiry by Lord Dyson, which found that interviewer Martin Bashir took part in deceitful behavior that "fell short of high standards of integrity and transparency." Bashir included fake statements in the interview to make it look like Diana's staff was selling stories about her, and act the inquiry found to be in "serious breach" of BBC guidelines.

    "Now we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained, I have decided that the BBC will never show the program again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters," said Davie, according to Deadline.

    "It does of course remain part of the historical record and there may be occasions in the future when it will be justified for the BBC to use short extracts for journalistic purposes," he continued. "But these will be few and far between and will need to be agreed at executive committee level and set in the full context of what we now know about the way the interview was obtained. I would urge others to exercise similar restraint."

    The BBC's decision caps a year-long reevaluation of the Panorama interview, in which Diana spoke candidly about her marriage to Prince Charles and the reasons for their separation. She famously told Bashir that "there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," a reference to Charles' lengthy affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, his now-wife.

    Yesterday, Davie issued a public apology to Prince Charles and his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and Tiggy Legge-Bourke, their former nanny, "for the way in which Princess Diana was deceived and the subsequent impact on all their lives."

    The network previously returned a BAFTA for the interview, which was watched by 23 million British viewers when it aired in 1995.

    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Princess Diana, BBC, Panorama, Martin Bashir, Tim Davie