An inquiry into the BBC’s 1995, bombshell Panorama interview with Princess Diana is expected to find journalist Martin Bashir lied and used deceitful methods to gain access to the late royal.
The BBC will publish a report on Thursday written by former judge Lord Dyson, who has led in investigation into methods used by Mr Bashir to secure the now-iconic one-on-one interview with Diana that made headlines around the world.
The findings, to be handed down on Thursday, will reportedly conclude the journalist broke BBC editorial rules in the deceptive way he coerced Diana into speaking out.
It is also understood the report will be highly critical of senior BBC executives, with one source telling Britain’s Daily Telegraph it “could be the BBC’s phone hacking moment” in reference to the scandal that rocked News of the World in 2011.
The Panorama interview sparked headlines around the world when Diana famously revealed her husband, Prince Charles’, infidelities with Camilla Parker Bowles.
“Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” Diana famously revealed in the interview.
Lord Dyson will reportedly conclude that Mr Bashir showed Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, fake financial documents in order to allegedly gain access to the the then-Princess of Wales.
Mr Bashir, most recently the BBC News religion editor, quit the broadcaster on health grounds earlier this week.
He has been unwell with COVID-19 related complications.
Mr Bashir began working as a journalist in 1986, but became famous around the world for his interview with Diana.
Her son, Prince William, welcomed the launch of the investigation late last year, saying it “should help establish the truth behind the actions” that led to the programme.
Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, has alleged Mr Bashir showed him fake financial documents and told untrue stories about the royal family to gain access to his sister.
The BBC appointed Lord Dyson to lead an investigation to discover what steps the BBC and Mr Bashir took to land the interview.
Former BBC director-general Lord Hall led a 1996 internal BBC investigation into the circumstances surrounding Diana’s appearance, which sent shock waves through the royal family with her revelations about the state of her marriage.
The BBC has previously said in a statement that during an internal corporation investigation in 1996, Bashir admitted commissioning mocked-up bank documents.