In a special 30 minute programme, reportedly set to include an interview with Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, the investigative show will delve into how the BBC journalist obtained the world-exclusive talk with the royal.
It comes amid claims that Mr Bashir, now the broadcaster’s religious affairs editor, fed lies to clinch the 1995 interview with the princess.
Diana infamously said there were ‘three people’ in her marriage to Prince Charles in the jaw-dropping interview, dubbed by some as ‘the scoop of the century’.
But last year the BBC commissioned Lord Dyson, a former Supreme Court judge, to probe allegations that the corporation covered up a trail of deceit by its reporter – who is said to have used lies to play on the Princess’s fears to secure the interview.
Now Panorama is to air its own investigation into the claims, with award-winning journalist John Ware set to present the programme.
The BBC’s Panorama show will investigate itself over Martin Bashir’s bombshell interview with Princess Diana
It comes amid claims that the BBC’s now religious affairs editor Mr Bashir reportedly fed lies to clinch the 1995 interview with the princess (pictured)
The show was originally planned to be broadcast earlier this month, but was postponed due to the death of Prince Philip, the Telegraph previously reported.
Ware is expected to by highly critical of Mr Bashir in the upcoming Panorama special, expected to be broadcast in May.
Alongside Mr Bashir’s conduct in relation to the Diana interview, Ware will reportedly look at other alleged tactics of the journalist during his time with Panorama.
In a special programme, reportedly set to include an interview with Diana’s brother Earl Spencer (pictured), the investigative show will delve into how the journalist obtained the world-exclusive talk with the royal.
Mr Bashir has been on sick leave from his BBC role since August after catching Covid and undergoing a quadruple heart bypass operation.
The BBC’s director general, Tim Davie, is reportedly said to have given the green light for the programme – which he reportedly sees as a chance to ‘clear the stables’.
That’s despite Lord Dyson apparently being unhappy at the timing of the programme, which will be aired before the publication of the results of his own investigation.
Alongside the programme and the inquiry, the interview will also be the subject of a play by broadcaster and playwright Jonathan Maitland.
Maitland, who worked on Tonight with Mr Bashir from 1999 to 2003, told the Observer: ‘It’s a character study of Bashir, his motive for trying to get the interview, and how he landed it.’
It comes as it was reported earlier this week by the Mail that Bashir was allegedly joined by his BBC boss when he reportedly fed lies to Princess Diana to clinch her Panorama interview.
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.
The Panorama show is to be presented by John Ware (pictured left). Broadcaster and playwright Jonathan Maitland is producing a play which focuses on the 1995 Bashir interview
Until now, the focus has been on Mr Bashir himself.
But 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.
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.
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
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 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.
The BBC launched launched an investigation into claims made at the time that forged bank statements were used to secure the interview.
It was overseen by Tony Hall, then head of news and current affairs, who retired as director-general in August.
The investigation concluded: ‘The BBC has been able, independently, to verify that these documents were put to no use which had any bearing, direct or indirect, on the Panorama interview with the Princess of Wales.’
But fresh publicity around the anniversary of the interview last year prompted Earl Spencer to call for another investigation, which Lord Dyson will lead.
MailOnline has contacted the BBC for a comment.