16 years later, a new scandal has erupted from the interview after an inquiry found that the BBC had covered up “deceitful behaviour” used by Bashir who “fell short of high standards of integrity and transparency”.
The report from Lord Dyson found that Bashir was in “serious breach” of BBC guidelines when he forged bank statements and presented them to Diana’s younger brother, Earl Spencer, in order to gain access to her. The statement was said to suggest that certain individuals (one being a former employee of Spencer) were being paid to keep surveillance on Diana.
Bashir has apologised and said it was “a stupid thing do to do”, and “an action I deeply regret”. However, he believes that the documents “had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview.”
The BBC has since apologised to the Royal Family and Bashir has handed back the Bafta award that he received for the interview.
Amongst all this controversy, something amusing has happened, thanks to Channel 4 News reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy. The veteran news host joked on Thursday evening that “It’s going to be a lot less fun being mistaken for Martin Bashir now isn’t it.”
We can only presume that people were confusing the two as they are both British-Asian journalists but surely Guru-Murthy is better known after being consistently on Channel 4 News since 1998.
Anyway, back to more serious issues: Bashir’s interview is set to be assessed by the police to determine if there is no “significant new evidence” to warrant a criminal investigation.
Bashir added in his aforementioned statement: “Evidence handed to the inquiry in her own handwriting (and published alongside the report today) unequivocally confirms this, and other compelling evidence presented to Lord Dyson reinforces it. In fact, despite his other findings, Lord Dyson himself in any event accepts that the princess would probably have agreed to be interviewed without what he describes as my ‘intervention’.”
Despite the controversy, the 58-year-old maintained that he will “always remain immensely proud of that interview.”