International

BBC agrees deal with Diana interview whistleblower

By AFP

LONDON: The BBC said on Friday it has struck a deal with a graphic designer who was sidelined for blowing the whistle over secret methods used to secure an interview with Princess Diana.

Matt Wisler was asked by disgraced journalist Martin Bashir to make fun of a bank statement, which was later shown to be part of an elaborate ploy to persuade Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, to agree to let the princess participate. Was.

In a 1995 interview, Diana elaborated on her broken marriage to Prince Charles, including her relationship with her longtime mistress, Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Weisler explained his concerns to BBC bosses at the time, but they then colluded to ensure that he would never work for the corporation again after his contract expired.

“We are delighted that the BBC and Whistler have reached an agreement,” the corporation said in a statement.

“We would like to reiterate our full and unconditional apology to Mr. Weisler for the manner in which the Corporation was treated in the past.

“Mr. Weisler acted with the utmost sincerity, including raising his concerns at that time, and we regret that these were ignored.”

An investigation into the case by retired senior judge John Dyson said that Bashir commissioned forged bank statements to falsely suggest that some of Diana’s close aides were being paid by security services to keep tabs on him.

The question has long been asked of how Bashir persuaded Diana to speak on the BBC’s flagship “Panorama” programme, which was watched by a record 22.8 million people and won numerous television awards.

In it, she famously stated that there were “three people” in her marriage—she, Charles, and his longtime mistress and now wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles—and also admitted to adultery.

Bashir, now 58, was little known at the time of the interview, but he has built a high-profile career on American television networks, interviewing stars including Michael Jackson.

Diana died in a high-speed car accident in 1997 at the age of 36 while being chased by paparazzi photographers. Charles married Camilla in 2005 in a low-key civil ceremony.

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