Diana’s explosive Panorama interview: A timeline of events

·2-min read
Pride of Britain Awards 2019 – London (PA Archive)
Pride of Britain Awards 2019 – London (PA Archive)

With Lord Dyson’s report into Martin Bashir’s 1995 interview with Diana, Princess of Wales set to be published on Thursday afternoon, here is a timeline of events.

– 1986

Bashir joins the BBC as a news correspondent and works on programmes including Songs Of Praise and Public Eye.

– November 1995

The Panorama interview airs on BBC One with Diana famously saying: “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”.

– 1996

Diana in the 1995 Panorama interviewPA Media
Diana in the 1995 Panorama interviewPA Media

Former BBC director-general Lord Hall, then head of news, leads an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding Diana’s appearance. Earl Spencer brother of Diana, later alleged the inquiry was a “whitewash”.

– 1997

Diana is killed in a car crash in Paris in August 1997. She was in a car with her partner, Dodi Fayed who also died.

– 1999

Bashir leaves the BBC and joins ITV where he works on documentary specials and features for Trevor McDonald.

PA Archive
PA Archive

– 2016

Bashir returns to the BBC as religious affairs correspondent before being made religion editor.

October 2020

The BBC says Bashir is “seriously unwell” with coronavirus-related complications.

– November 3 2020

A BBC investigation is launched into allegations made by Earl Spencer that he was shown “false bank statements” to help encourage his sister to take part.

– November 2020

Earl SpencerPA Archive
Earl SpencerPA Archive

Lord Dyson former Master of the Rolls and head of civil justice, is appointed to head the report, which is welcomed by the Duke of Cambridge, describing it as a “step in the right direction”.

The BBC says it has found a handwritten note from Diana that appears to absolve Bashir of using false documents to influence her Panorama appearance.

A former employee of Earl Spencer, Alan Waller, makes a formal complaint to the Metropolitan Police alleging unlawful activity.

The Duke of Cambridge, welcomes the investigation, saying it “should help establish the truth behind the actions” that led to the programme.

His brother the Duke of Sussex reportedly also supports the inquiry.

– March 2021

Scotland Yard says it will not launch a criminal investigation over the allegations.

– May 2021

Bashir quits the BBC on health grounds, stepping down as religion editor. A new Panorama documentary investigating the Diana interview is delayed until after the publication of Lord Dyson report.

According to the Telegraph, the report found Bashir was guilty of deploying deceitful methods to secure the interview.

On May 20, the inquiry’s 127-page report was released. It found Bashir used "deceitful behaviour" and was in "serious breach" of the BBC's producer guidelines to secure his Panorama interview with Diana.

The BBC "fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark" in a subsequent investigation, according to the report.

Mr Bashir apologised for mocking up the documents but said they had no bearing on Diana's decision to be interviewed.

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