O former BBC general director Tony Hall today expressed “deep regret” to Prince William for the “pain” caused by the 1995 interview with his mother, Diana of Wales.
The Duke of Cambridge recently issued a statement harshly criticizing the station for the methods used by journalist Martin Bashir, such as false bank documents, and the psychological effect the princess suffered after the interview, which was broadcast in 1995.
Speaking today before the parliamentary committee on Culture, Hall, which led a 1996 investigation into Bashir’s work, said he did not speak directly to the duke, son of Prince Charles and grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, to express his remorse.
“We did what we thought was the right thing to do at the time, investigating Martin Bashir not once but twice. [William], I worked with him on several things and I deeply regret the pain this caused him,” he told deputies.
Asked by committee members whether he had spoken with the prince, Hall said he would like to testify before Parliament before deciding on his next steps.
Hall was BBC editor-in-chief at the time of the interview and was responsible for an internal investigation in 1996 into how Bashir got the interview before taking on the role of CEO between 2013 and 2020.
After a spell away, Bashir returned to the BBC in 2016 to become editor of religious affairs, a position the reporter left last May citing health problems related to covid-19.
An internal BBC investigation on Monday rejected that Bashir’s new hire by the public station in 2016 was intended to cover up the fraudulent practices revealed in May after an independent internal inquiry.
Bashir’s interview with Diana was broadcast on the BBC’s ‘Panorama’ program in November 1995, when the Princess of Wales was separated, but not divorced, from Prince Charles.
In it, the princess, who died in a Paris car accident on August 31, 1997, spoke for the first time about her husband’s infidelity, claiming that there were “three people” in their marriage, a reference to Camilla Parker-Bowles, in tall lover of Carlos.
Camilla married Prince Charles in 2005 and is currently Duchess of Cornwall.
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