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Charles Spencer reacts as methods used to obtain Princess Diana's Panorama interview declared 'deceitful'

The BBC and Martin Bashir were investigated into how they secured the interview

charles spencer princess diana panorama© Photo: Getty Images
Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
May 20, 2021
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Charles Spencer has broken his silence following the release of Lord Dyson's report, which has found that the methods used to obtain Princess Diana's Panorama interview were "deceitful".

The BBC and journalist Martin Bashir, who conducted the tell-all interview in 1995 where Diana famously said there were "three of us in this marriage", were investigated into how they managed to secure the time with Diana.

MORE: See inside Princess Diana's childhood home where she met Prince Charles

Lord Dyson, the former master of the rolls and head of civil justice, was appointed to look into the circumstances and his inquiry published on Thursday has now concluded that Mr Bashir deployed "deceitful behaviour" to secure the interview, in a "serious breach" of BBC editorial rules.

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Reacting to the outcome of the report, Diana's younger brother Charles took to Twitter to write: "I'd like to thank the TV journalist Andy Webb for his tireless professionalism in bringing the Bashir-Panorama-BBC scandal to light. If he hadn't have pursued this story for well over a decade, and shared his findings with me last October, today's findings wouldn't have surfaced."

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On Thursday, former director-general Lord Tony Hall said he accepts that the 1996 BBC inquiry into how Panorama secured its interview with Diana "fell well short of what was required" and he was "wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt".

In response to Lord Dyson's findings, Mr Bashir apologised, saying the faking of bank statements was "an action I deeply regret" but added he felt it had "no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview".

The investigation was launched last year after Earl Spencer alleged Mr Bashir showed him fake financial documents relating to Diana's former private secretary Patrick Jephson, and another former royal household member, in order to gain access to the Princess.

The investigation was carried out to decide whether the steps taken by the BBC and Mr Bashir were appropriate, and to what extent those actions influenced Diana's decision to give an interview.

princess diana panorama© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Diana's explosive 1995 Panorama interview

Charles has previously made his thoughts very clear on the subject. Last week, following the news that Mr Bashir has stepped down from his role as BBC News religion editor, Charles shared a screenshot on Twitter of the definitions of the words "forgery" and "mock-up". He simply captioned the post: "BBC English."

Ahead of the report's publication this week, the Earl also shared a beautiful black-and-white throwback photo from his childhood with his older sister. He and Diana were pictured in swimwear, sat in the garden, happily smiling at the camera. "Some bonds go back a very long way," he wrote.

Prince William welcomed the investigation last year saying it "should help establish the truth behind the actions" that led to the programme, while Prince Harry also reportedly supported the inquiry.

Mr Bashir, meanwhile, who has been seriously unwell with Covid-19-related complications, left the BBC on health grounds.

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