Why is Princess Diana's bombshell BBC interview--which happened over two decade ago--set to undergo investigation?
It has been 25 years since Princess Diana agreed to do the controversial Panorama interview. However, the BBC decided to launch an investigation to answer all queries and claims being thrown by Earl Spencer, the princess' brother.
On Monday, Lord Michael Grade revealed that Earl believes Martin Bashir, the former Panorama reporter, made false claims about some senior royals.
Lord Grade told Radio 4's World at One program that BBC's journalism has "a very dark cloud" floating above it, in reference to the allegations made by Princess Diana's brother.
"As a result of the questions raised by Earl Spencer, Channel Four, and the Daily Mail, this needs to be cleared up. There needs to be an immediate independent inquiry announced, and the results of that inquiry need to be published," Lord Grade added.
What Is the Issue?
Lord Grade was referring to Channel 4's documentary "Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview" and Daily Mail's article about Earl's claims.
Through Daily Mail, BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond said that Earl made "astonishing" notes with Bashir two months before the interview.
Princess Diana's brother believes that the Bashir used "methods" to make the royal princess agree to be interviewed. Earl allegedly added that he would never have introduced the journalist to his sister if he never saw the faked bank statements.
The aforementioned statements were reportedly used to show that two senior courtiers were tasked to look for information about Princess Diana. The alleged "preposterous lies" also include the Princess of Wales' car being tracked and phones hacked.
BBC has since apologized for the said forged statements. However, the outlet insisted that they did not do anything to make the late princess appear in the interview.
This led Earl and his team to urge BBC to conduct an investigation and look into the claims he has thrown at them.
BBC To Start Inspection
In response to this, Tim Davie, BBC's director-general, pledged that the company will take the matter very seriously.
On Monday, Davie said that they also want to know the truth, and so they promised to launch an investigation as soon as possible.
"We are in the process of commissioning a robust and independent investigation."
Meanwhile, as for Bashir's whereabouts, a BBC spokesperson disclosed that the outlet's current religion editor is unwell and unavailable.
"Martin Bashir is signed off work by his doctors - he is currently recovering from quadruple heart bypass surgery and has significant complications from having contracted Covid-19 earlier in the year," the spokesperson said, per Variety.
While waiting for BBC to begin the investigation, a documentary will be aired on ITV soon. It is expected to reveal the truth behind the faked bank statements in the Princess Diana interview scandal.
In the trailer, the series introduces graphic designer Matt Weissler, who claims that he was asked to create the forged bank statements.
"I quite clearly felt that I was the one that was going to be the fall guy in this story," he said. "All I want is for the BBC in this instance to come forward and honestly make an apology. Because it's had a huge impact."