The BBC has launched a new investigation into journalist Martin Bashir’s 1995 interview with Princess Diana on Panorama, in which she revealed her troubled relationship with Prince Charles.
“It’s like blaming a pen for a mischievous letter. I don’t know how you can plausibly tell a story that a graphic designer is to blame for using documents as forgeries and I’ve lived with them for 25 years. What has to come forward is Martin Bashir. He’s there. He’s the only one who has answers, ”Wiessler told BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday.
The latest investigation was conducted more than two decades ago by Tony Hall, who later became the BBC’s chief executive and was replaced this summer by Tim Davie. Following internal investigations, Wiessler stopped working for the BBC, while Bashir was found “an honest man”.
These new details came to light during an investigation by journalist Andy Webb, who wrote and directed “Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview”, a documentary that aired on Channel 4 in the second half of October. Webb requested the documents used in the 2007 Panorama interview under the Free Access to Information Act, and received access to them 48 hours before the documentary aired.
False statements show that two courtiers were paid by the security services to provide information on Diana. These were seen by the princess’s brother, Charles Spencer, who said he persuaded him to introduce Bashir to his sister. Spencer recently called for an investigation and contacted Tim Davie. “If I hadn’t read those statements, I wouldn’t have introduced Bashir to my sister,” Spencer wrote to Davie in October.
Bashir, the current BBC publisher, is recovering from a heart attack and this year had major problems after contracting Covid-19, a BBC spokesperson said. It is currently not available.
Davie announced Monday that the BBC had commissioned an independent investigation. “The BBC takes this very seriously and we want to get to the truth,” he said.
The 1995 interview was seen by 25 million viewers at the time of the broadcast.