BBC to fight ‘tooth and nail’ as Diana report threatens company ‘Last nail in coffin’

BBC: Princess Diana interview investigation discussed by Bell

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An inquiry into the Princess Diana interview with Panorama was launched when Charles Spencer, Diana’s brother, claimed fake bank statements were used to gain his trust for access to his sister. The inquiry is due to be released this week, with early reports spelling bad news for the broadcaster. Many believe the inquiry could be a defining moment in the BBC’s history as trust in the corporation suffered blows in recent weeks.

Speaking on TalkRADIO, host Julia Hartley-Brewer was joined by Royal Correspondent Rupert Bell to discuss the inquiry. 

According to the Telegraph, the inquiry is set to reveal the BBC and Martin Bashir obtained the Princess Diana interview by using deceit. 

Ms Hartley-Brewer spoke about the inquiry on the radio with the host asking Mr Bell: “When we do see [the inquiry], do you think this is going to fundamentally damage faith that people still have in the state broadcaster. 

“You know the one we all are required legally to pay for and are supposed to be the arbiters of truth. 

“I think they’ve lost a lot of that over Brexit and over coverage of politics in recent years and certainly for me over the issue of curbing the lockdown.

“But this is I mean this is the last nail in the coffin isn’t it?”

Mr Bell replied: “I think they will be fighting tooth and nail to ensure that they may at least not going into that coffin. 

“I think they see their role as a rock in the ever-changing media circle but the world is changing.

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“Is there the need now for a state broadcaster and that is the question. 

“Some people will say yes because you can make a broader range of programmes and there won’t be the commercial considerations. 

“But if at the heart of it, there is a desire to cover up and not be truthful then is that institution fit for purpose and does it have the right moral compass.”

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The latest independence inquiry was launched after Earl Spencer went public last year with his claims which were first investigated in 1996. 

Earl Spencer also alleged Mr Bashir fed several manipulative stories to Princess Diana which aimed to convince her there was a conspiracy against her from the Royal Family. 

Mr Bashir admitted he had a graphic artist mock up the bank statements.

Prince William welcomed the investigation which was launched in 2020 stating: “It should help establish the truth behind the actions.”

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