The BBC has requested the independent investigation following concerns on how the corporation gained the cooperation of the late Princess Diana.
“The BBC is determined to get to the truth about these events and that is why we have commissioned an independent investigation. Formerly Master of the Rolls and a Justice of the Supreme Court, Lord Dyson is an eminent and highly respected figure who will lead a thorough process.” – Tim Davie, BBC Director-General
The independent investigation will look into what steps the BBC and in particular, Martin Bashir, who interviewed Diana and undertook the major work in securing her appearance, were taken leading up to the recording.
The probe will look over all relevant evidence including the mocked up bank statements purporting to show payments to a former employee of Earl Spencer, the purported payments to members of the Royal Households and the other matters recently raised by Earl Spencer.
“This is an important investigation which I will start straight away. I will ensure it is both thorough and fair.” – Lord Dyson
The investigation will start straight away and the BBC is handing over all of its relevant records. The news was greeted with approval from Diana’s son Prince William.
Meanwhile, Ofcom has noted it received a complaint about the BBC Panorama programme but said it would not be partaking in its own investigation. The television regulator, however, welcomed the BBC’s decision to hold an open and transparent look into the events surrounding the programme.
The Panorama interview aired on 20 November 1995 with Diana, Princess of Wales talking frankly about her failed marriage to Prince Charles as well as her own personal troubles during her time in the royal family.
“We welcome [the] announcement yesterday of a fully independent inquiry, to be led by Lord Dyson into the events surrounding the making of the original programme, as well as the BBC’s investigation of it in 1995 and 1996. We are also pleased that the findings of this inquiry will be published. We will follow the inquiry and its conclusions closely.” – Dame Melanie Dawes, Chief Executive Ofcom, noted in an open letter to the BBC