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Princess Diana’s ‘three in this marriage’ interview was the scoop of the 90s, not cause for a hand-wringing BBC witch hunt today

17 7 18
21.11.2020

When the oh-so-serious national broadcaster landed the prize that its media competitors so envied, it made journalist Martin Bashir’s career and saw 23 million people tune into the normally interminably dry ‘Panorama’ programme to hear the wife of Prince Charles admit “there were three of us in this marriage.”

So before Bashir, now the BBC’s Religious Affairs editor, is dragged from his sickbed, having had a quadruple heart bypass and Covid-19, and whisked off to the Tower of London, can we just acknowledge one thing about his 1995 interview with Princess Di? It was a bloody great scoop!

The investigation now underway into whether the journalist duped the princess into agreeing to the interview is really an irrelevance. With the princess now dead for more than 20 years, it’s not as if we can hear her side, despite what her brother, Earl Spencer, might be suggesting.

Sure, Bashir might have pulled a swifty, allegedly asking a put-upon freelance graphic designer to doctor a couple of bank statements he could show to suggest there were enemies within Diana’s camp that were selling her out. His trick, apparently, was to suggest that she should take the initiative and give her side of the story, in her own words. And it worked.

As a journalist working on the dreaded tabloids of the 80s and 90s, I was right in the middle of this, and fully complicit in feeding the insatiable appetite for stories and........

© RT.com


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