Revealed: Martin Bashir ‘was joined by Panorama boss Steve Hewlett when he fed lies to Princess Diana to clinch the bombshell 1995 interview’
- The then-editor of BBC Panorama is said to have been present at crucial meeting
- Former judge Lord Dyson was told Martin Bashir was joined by the executive
- It was the weekend before filming when Diana got cold feet and tried to cancel
- Diana was allegedly spun damaging lies about her staff and the Royal Family
The programme’s then-editor, Steve Hewlett, is said to have been present at a crucial meeting at which the BBC reporter used rogue tactics to trick her.
Until now, the focus has been on Mr Bashir himself. But former judge Lord Dyson, who is conducting an inquiry into how the interview was obtained and if BBC executives concealed any wrongdoing, is understood to have been told the presenter was joined by the BBC executive when the princess was persuaded to do the 1995 interview.
It was the weekend before filming, and Diana had got cold feet and tried to cancel.
Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program Panorama on the BBC
Mr Bashir paid her a visit, and Diana was allegedly spun damaging lies about her staff and the Royal Family in a ‘desperate bid’ to change her mind.
If Mr Hewlett was there too, this would mean a senior BBC editor may have been involved in the plot to hoodwink the princess.
Mr Hewlett died in 2017. The impact of the meeting was explosive. Just a day or two later – on October 30, 1995 – Diana told her lawyer Lord Mishcon she had ‘been informed by reliable sources’ about an assassination plot against her.
In a contemporaneous note, Lord Mishcon also wrote that: ‘She had been told [Tiggy] Legge-Bourke [the former royal nanny whom Diana believed Prince Charles wanted to marry] had been operated on for an abortion.’
The programme’s then-editor, Steve Hewlett (pictured), is said to have been present at a crucial meeting at which the BBC reporter used rogue tactics to trick her
The Panorama interview was recorded the following weekend, and was broadcast in November that year, hastening her divorce. She died two years later in a car crash in Paris.
The Daily Mail has previously revealed how Mr Bashir – now the BBC’s religion editor – allegedly peddled a series of lies and smears designed to lure the vulnerable princess into his trust.
This included showing Diana a faked ‘abortion receipt’ for Miss Legge-Bourke, preposterously stoking Diana’s unfounded fears of an affair with Charles.
Last November the BBC commissioned Lord Dyson, a former Supreme Court judge, to probe allegations that the corporation covered up the trail of deceit by its reporter.
The BBC is also set to broadcast a Panorama investigation – into itself – which is expected to uncover dramatic failings by former corporation chiefs.