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A new ITV documentary on Princess Diana’s explosive 1995 interview about her marriage to Prince Charles includes claims that she was tricked into taking part with the help of faked bank statements. BBC journalist Martin Bashir is alleged to have produced fake documents to win the trust of the late royal. The national broadcaster has confirmed they will now carry out an independent investigation but claims the documents did not influence the Princess’s decision to speak on camera.
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Speaking to ‘The Diana Interview: Revenge of a Princess’, commentator Tom Burke said: “I would ask the BBC to come clean on this as a matter of urgency.
“This interview was clearly one of the most important interviews ever given in the 20th century.”
Matt Weissler, the TV graphic designer who claimed he was asked to create the fake bank statements, also spoke on ‘The Diana Interview: Revenge of a Princess’.
He told ITV: “I got a phone call from Martin Bashir and he wanted me to do a favour for him.”
Mr Weissler continued: “It was really urgent and really important.
“Martin asked me to make up a couple of bank statements that he needed the following day.
“He did say that they were just going to be used as copies.
“So that night I was just making some props for filming purposes.”
Speaking about the accusations, Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan said: “If a tabloid newspaper had done what the BBC and Martin Bashir are alleged to have done, there would have been absolute pandemonium driven by the BBC.
“They would have been outrage at such behaviour, there is an irony here in the way that they have been behaving.
“But the consequences of what happened with this interview were gigantic, leading, within two years, to Princess of Wales dying in an underpass with no royal protection.”
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The BBC held an internal inquiry in 1996 on whether the Princess of Wales had been misled, in which Mr Bashir was cleared of wrongdoing.
However the broadcaster is set to hold another “robust” inquiry in the wake of allegations from Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer.
BBC Director-General Tim Davie said: “The BBC is taking this very seriously and we want to get to the truth. We are in the process of commissioning a robust and independent investigation.
“We will have a robust investigation. It will have the appropriate independence people expect, and we will set out a process for this in due course.”
The BBC says it cannot talk to Mr Bashir at the moment as he is “seriously unwell” after suffering complications from contracting coronavirus.
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