BBC vows to never air Diana Panorama interview again following settlement with former royal nanny

BBC vows to never air Diana Panorama interview again following settlement with former royal nanny

THE BBC has vowed to never again air the interview with Diana, Princess of Wales fo the Panorama programme in 1995.

It comes after the broadcaster has agreed to pay substantial damages to the former royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke after false allegations she had an affair with Prince Charles were used by Martin Bashir to obtain the interview.

As well as the allegation of the affair, the court was told Legge-Bourke was falsely accused of becoming pregnant with Charles’s baby and having an abortion.

Bashir is alleged to have spread the fake accusations in his successful attempt to win Diana’s trust and convince her to sit down for the Panorama interview.

In a statement yesterday, BBC Director General Time Davie said he would like to take the opportunity to apologise publicly to Legge-Bourke (now Mrs Alexandra Pettifer), the Prince of Wale, and to the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, "for the way in which Princess Diana was deceived and the subsequent impact on all their lives."

“It is a matter of great regret that the BBC did not get to the facts in the immediate aftermath of the programme when there were warning signs that the interview might have been obtained improperly. Instead, as The Duke of Cambridge himself put it, the BBC failed to ask the tough questions. Had we done our job properly Princess Diana would have known the truth during her lifetime. We let her, The Royal Family and our audiences down.

“Now we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained I have decided that the BBC will never show the programme again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters."

However, he said the interview remains part of the historical records and there "may be occasions in the future when it will be justified for the BBC to use short extracts for journalistic purposes..

These moments "will be few and far between," he said, and will need to be agreed ta Executive Committee level and set in the full context of what is now known about the way the interview was obtained.

"I would urge others to exercise similar restraint," he finished.

In a statement, Pettifer said:

“I am disappointed that it needed legal action for the BBC to recognise the serious harm I have been subjected to. Sadly, I am one of many people whose lives have been scarred by the deceitful way in which the BBC Panorama was made and the BBC’s subsequent failure to properly investigate the making of the programme.

“The distress caused to the royal family is a source of great upset to me. I know first-hand how much they were affected at the time, and how the programme and the false narrative it created have haunted the family in the years since. Especially because, still today, so much about the making of the programme is yet to be adequately explained.”

Her settlement is the latest in a series of payouts relating to the interview, which have collectively cost the BBC millions of pounds in compensation and legal fees.