The boss of the BBC has addressed allegations made about the Panorama interview the late Diana, Princess of Wales gave in 1995, saying the broadcaster is taking the claims ‘very seriously’.
Last week, it was reported that the BBC was going to conduct an investigation into new claims made by Princess Diana’s brother, Charles, Earl Spencer, that he was shown ‘false bank statements’ as a means of encouraging his sister to go through with the interview on the BBC programme.
Charles claimed that, when he was approached by reporter Martin Bashir about the interview, the ‘false bank statements’ he was shown referenced alleged payments that had been made to members of the royal household by security services.
Following the 1995 interview, in which Diana famously stated that there were ‘three of us’ in her marriage to Prince Charles, the BBC carried out an internal investigation to determine whether she had been misled.
According to the BBC, Diana wrote a note stating that she did not see the false statements before the interview, and so they did not influence her decision to take part. However, the BBC does not have a copy of the alleged note.
On November 4, Earl Spencer tweeted that, while the BBC ‘apologised’ for ‘showing me false statements relating to a lesser, unrelated matter’, the organisation had not ‘apologised for the fake statements and other deceit that led to me introducing Martin Bashir to my sister.’
Earl Spencer expressed his belief that an ‘independent enquiry’ into the Panorama interview should take place, adding: ‘The BBC has shown itself incapable of honestly facing up to the ugly truth of this matter.’
Tim Davie, director-general of the BBC, has now said in a new statement: ‘The BBC is taking this very seriously and we want to get to the truth.
‘We are in the process of commissioning a robust and independent investigation.’
Further information about the independent investigation is expected to be released within the next few days.
The BBC previously said that Mr Bashir, now the BBC’s religion editor, is unable to respond to Earl Spencer’s claims because he is seriously ill with coronavirus-related health complications.
Lord Grade, who was chairman of the BBC between 2004 and 2006, told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One programme that the question of whether the supposed note written by Diana was a ‘forgery’ is one that ‘needs to be asked’.
‘There may well be very good answers and the BBC may well come out of this absolutely clean. But there are so many questions being raised,’ he said.
‘There’s only one way to clear this up and that is with an independent inquiry to be published.’
Describing the BBC as ‘the gold standard of journalism in this country’, Lord Grade said: ‘For the BBC to be faking documents in the interest of getting a scoop raises very serious questions and the BBC needs to clean this up once and for all.’
The Diana Interview: Revenge Of A Princess is being shown on ITV at 9pm on Monday November 9, with the second episode airing on Tuesday at 9pm.
Credit: Original article published here.