By Ron Howells • 14 May 2021 • 20:46
Martin Bashir Quits The BBC After Diana Interview Investigation. image: Twitter
Martin Bashir Quits The BBC After Diana Interview Investigation.
Martin Bashir has quit the BBC on health grounds just before the publication of an investigation into his conduct in securing a 1995 Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales- he has been on sick leave for several months.
The BBC’s deputy director of news, Jonathan Munro, told staff: “Martin Bashir has stepped down from his position as the BBC’s religion editor and is leaving the corporation. He let us know of his decision last month, just before being readmitted to the hospital for another surgical procedure on his heart. Although he underwent major surgery toward the end of last year, he is facing some ongoing issues and has decided to focus on his health.”
He added: “We wish him a complete and speedy recovery.”
Following pressure from Diana’s family last year, the BBC director-general, Tim Davie, commissioned an independent inquiry to look into how Bashir persuaded the royal to speak on camera about her marriage, and whether Bashir used fake documents to gain the trust of the family. This investigation is now complete and the report has been passed to the BBC for publication.
However, his departure comes after questions were raised about how Bashir secured his interview with the Princess of Wales in 1995. During the interview, which has been watched millions of times, Diana spoke of Prince Charles’s relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. She also admitted to having an affair.
“There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” she told Bashir on Panorama. Bashir was heavily criticised when it emerged that mocked-up bank statements had been produced in an attempt to secure the interview with the princess.
The BBC has apologised for the statements and insisted they played “no part in her decision to take part in the interview”.
Retired Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson is leading a BBC internal inquiry into the incident. It is understood that Bashir will NOT face criminal prosecution according to a report from The Standard.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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