BBC boss Tim Davie agrees to launch probe into Princess Diana Panorama scandal
BBC boss Tim Davie has caved into pressure for a probe into the Princess Diana Panorama scandal.
The new Director General yesterday promised an independent inquiry would be “robust” in its search for the truth.
He said: “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.”
The Corporation had previously repeatedly refused to open a formal probe.
But last night there were calls for police to look into how reporter Martin Bashir secured the 1995 interview.
Ex-Beeb chair Lord Grade admitted: “There is a very dark cloud hanging over BBC journalism.”
The probe is likely to quiz Bashir, 57, and ex-DG Lord Hall, who led an internal investigation in 1996, blasted as a “whitewash”.
Officials will also want to interview freelance graphic artist Matt Wiessler.
He was allegedly duped by Bashir into producing fake bank statements falsely suggesting royal aides were being paid by security services for information.
He told an ITV documentary: “In almost a naive way, I thought when you worked for the BBC, you were working for the greater good of everything.
“After this episode, almost all of that fell away.
ITV axe Bashir
EXCLUSIVE by Paul Sims
MARTIN Bashir was last night axed from an ITV documentary on killer ex-Royal aide Jane Andrews.
Bashir was granted permission by the BBC to present an hour-long documentary for its channel rival.
The show will go ahead but will not now be fronted by under-fire Bashir.
A source said: “Martin was heavily involved in the documentary and conducted a number of the main interviews.
“But he will no longer be presenting it. Discussions have been ongoing amid the controversy. There will now be no presenter.”
Andrews, 53, pictured — Sarah Ferguson’s dresser for nine years — murdered banker Tom Cressman, 39, in 2000.
Bashir travelled to her home in Cleethorpes, Lincs, to interview her.
“I was the one that was going to be the fall guy in this story.”
In the show, airing tonight, documents allegedly reveal Hall didn’t tell BBC bosses Bashir had told his inquiry about the fake documents used to win Diana’s trust.
Instead, he concluded the star reporter was “honest” and “deeply remorseful”.
The Sun says
WE can only marvel at the hypocrisy of the BBC over the Martin Bashir scandal — and the conspicuous silence from the self-appointed judges of media morality.
The Beeb reporter, it is alleged, used lies and forged documents to dupe Princess Diana into doing his infamous Panorama interview in 1995.
He is said to be too sick to be questioned. Except he has been spotted nipping out for a curry.
New BBC boss Tim Davie has finally, and rightly, ordered an independent inquiry.
But why is there no revolt among the BBC’s oh-so-principled leftie journo-activists, who leap on any behaviour they dislike by tabloids?
Why no demands to close the BBC from Hacked Off Hugh and his pals?
Or do their political allies and occasional employers get a free pass?
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