‘The BBC hasn’t learned since Bashir’ Corporation savaged over new Royal doc

Prince Harry: BBC documentary is 'short sighted' says expert

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Ms Street-Porter – a former newspaper editor and ex-BBC TV executive – believes the decision to commission ‘The Princes and the Press’ was “bizarre” in the wake of the recent scandal. She said that the two-part programme has “an agenda which could cause the two men nothing but hurt” in a blistering attack.

The new royal documentary examines how the royals were reported on between 2018-2021.

Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House said the programme had made “overblown and unfounded claims”.

They added it was “disappointing” that the public broadcaster had given credibility to those claims.

The BBC defended the programme, saying on Tuesday it was “about how royal journalism is done and features a range of journalists from broadcast and the newspaper industry”.

In the summer, the BBC made an “unconditional apology” after an independent inquiry found journalist Martin Bashir used deception to secure an interview with Princess Diana in 1995.

The report by Lord Dyson also found Mr Bashir had “lied” about his deception, and found the BBC had covered up facts about how Mr Bashir secured the interview.

Lord Dyson wrote that, “without justification, the BBC fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency”.

Writing in the Mail today (Wednesday), Ms Street-Porter said: “Following that inquiry and a Panorama programme which exposed the deceit that Bashir had sunk to in order to secure his scoop, it seems strange that the BBC should want to air a documentary focusing on the rivalries between Prince Harry and William – two hours of assertions, allegations, and counter-claims.

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“An agenda which could cause the two men nothing but hurt.”

After being “forced to issue grovelling apologies to both Princes” over the Bashir scandal, “the BBC’s decision to commission the documentaries at all seems bizarre”, she said.

Ms Street-Porter said the programme’s presenter, BBC Media Editor Amol Rajan, “talked to the usual cast-list of Royal correspondents, former staff members, lawyers, and pundits.”

She argued that “by airing an hour of innuendo about two people who have barely spoken on the subject of their relationship, the BBC has decided that it wanted to join in the tsunami of speculation about what Royal Princes think, what rivalries, hurts and grudges they harbour.”

Ms Street-Porter added: “More importantly, his documentary will ensure that the Royal family now have ample reason not to co-operate with the BBC in the foreseeable future.”

She added: “The BBC hasn’t learned much since Bashir.”

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