A former BBC chief who was criticized for his “woefully ineffective” investigation into Martin Bashir’s deception by securing an explosive interview with Princess Diana on Saturday resigned as chairman of Britain’s National Gallery.

Journalist Bashir tricked Diana into giving her a 1995 BBC television interview in which she lifted the veil on her troubled marriage to Prince Charles, an independent investigation concluded Thursday.

Tony Hall, who had conducted an earlier investigation into the interview and was subsequently appointed to head the BBC, said he had “today resigned as chairman of the National Gallery.

“As I said two days ago, I am very sorry for the events of 25 years ago and I believe that leadership means taking responsibility,” he said in a statement released by the famous London gallery.

“I have always had a strong sense of public service and it is clear that my role would be a distraction for an institution that is close to my heart.”

Retired Senior Judge John Dyson said Bashir ordered fake bank statements that falsely suggested some of Diana’s closest associates were being paid by security services to keep tabs on her.

Bashir then showed them to Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, in an effort to convince him to arrange a meeting between him and Diana and gain her trust.

Questions have long been asked about how Bashir convinced Diana to talk about the BBC’s flagship show “Panorama” in November 1995, which was watched by a record 22.8 million people and won a television award series.

In it, she said: “there were three people” in her marriage – her, Charles and his longtime mistress and now wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles – and also admitted adultery.

Bashir, now 58, was little known at the time of the interview, but has pursued a prominent career on US television channels and has interviewed stars such as Michael Jackson.


He returned to work for the company as the editor of religion until he resigned last week citing ill health, just hours before Dyson’s report was submitted to bosses in the BBC.

A 1996 internal investigation by Hall cleared Bashir of his wrongdoing, but Dyson called the investigation “flawed and woefully ineffective.”

In particular, he did not ask Diana’s brother Charles Spencer his version of events, Dyson said, criticizing him for not properly reviewing Bashir’s actions.

“Had they been able to test Mr. Bashir’s account by asking him to comment on Earl Spencer’s detailed account, it is very unlikely that they would have believed him and concluded that he was an ‘honest man and honorable, ”he wrote.

Hall admitted the investigation “fell far short of what was required”, and said he was “wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt”.

Diana’s son Prince William said the interview made “a major contribution” to the demise of her parents’ relationship, while the BBC’s “woeful incompetence” to uncover the truth “helped significantly to his fear, paranoia and isolation “during his later years. .

Diana died in a high-speed car crash while being chased by paparazzi photographers in 1997.

Hall took over as head of the BBC in 2013 and resigned last year.

James Pheby / © Agence France-Presse

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Source: www.thesouthafrican.com
This notice was published: 2021-05-22 19:29:13


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