BBC vows to never air Princess Diana Panorama doc again and apologises

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The BBC has vowed to never to air a Princess Diana Panorama documentary which aired in 1995 again – after admitting it used deceitful tactics to secure an interview with Princess of Wales.

It comes after the BBC this morning agreed to pay damages to Diana's former nanny over "false and malicious" claims made about her by the journalist Martin Bashir, who interviewed her on Panorama.

A report last year found Mr Bashir "deceived and induced" Princess Diana's brother Earl Spencer to secure a bombshell Panorama interview with her in 1995.

Mr Bashir is alleged to have lied about Tiggy Legge-Bourke – who looked after Prince William and Prince Harry.

It is alleged he told Earl Spencer that Ms Legge-Bourke had an affair with Prince Charles.

Following the ruling, Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, said: “Following publication of the Dyson Report last year we have been working with those who suffered as a result of the deceitful tactics used by the BBC in pursuit of its interview with Diana, Princess of Wales for the Panorama programme in 1995, including the matters that were mentioned in court today in respect of Miss Tiggy Legge-Bourke, now Mrs Alexandra Pettifer. The BBC has agreed to pay substantial damages to Mrs Pettifer and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise publicly to her, to The Prince of Wales, and to the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, for the way in which Princess Diana was deceived and the subsequent impact on all their lives.

“It is a matter of great regret that the BBC did not get to the facts in the immediate aftermath of the programme when there were warning signs that the interview might have been obtained improperly. Instead, as The Duke of Cambridge himself put it, the BBC failed to ask the tough questions. Had we done our job properly Princess Diana would have known the truth during her lifetime. We let her, The Royal Family and our audiences down.

“Now we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained I have decided that the BBC will never show the programme again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters. It does of course remain part of the historical record and there may be occasions in the future when it will be justified for the BBC to use short extracts for journalistic purposes, but these will be few and far between and will need to be agreed at Executive Committee level and set in the full context of what we now know about the way the interview was obtained. I would urge others to exercise similar restraint.”

Representatives for the BBC apologised to Ms Legge-Bourke – whose married name is Alexandra Pettifer – in the High Court this morning and agreed to pay her damages, Sky News reports.

They said: "The BBC accepts that the allegations made against the claimant [Ms Legge-Bourke] were wholly baseless, should never have been made, and that the BBC did not, at the time, adequately investigate serious concerns over the circumstance in which the BBC secured the Panorama interview with Diana, the Princess of Wales."

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