BBC donates millions to charity over controversial Princess Diana interview

BBC journalist Martin Bashir's shock interview with Princess Diana in 1995.

BBC journalist Martin Bashir's shock interview with Princess Diana in 1995. Photo: Getty

The BBC has announced it will donate $2.4 million [£1.42 million) from the sales of its 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana to charity.

The groundbreaking interview made headlines around the world when it was first released, but an investigation subsequently found reporter Martin Bashir used fake documents to gain access to the late royal.

The BBC is sharing the funds equally between seven charities linked to Diana, saying it was “the right and appropriate course of action”.

The broadcaster stressed the donations were from its commercial revenue not the government licence fee.

The BBC said the funds have been given to the charities, Centrepoint, English National Ballet, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH), The Leprosy Mission, National Aids Trust, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and The Diana Award.

While the first six charities listed were those the princess remained involved at the time of her death, The Diana Award was created in her memory.

The donations come in the same week as the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death in a Paris car crash.

“The BBC had indicated its intention to donate to charity the sales proceeds derived from the 1995 Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales,” the BBC said in a statement.

“The BBC has now done so. Given the findings of Lord Dyson, we think this is the right and appropriate course of action.”

The report by Lord Dyson concluded in 2021 that the Panorama interview had been procured by Bashir using fake documents, saying the BBC fell short of “high standards of integrity and transparency”.

The 1995 interview was described by commentators in 1995 as a “bombshell” at the time, first revealing the disharmony between Diana and Prince Charles and damaging the image of the Royal Family.

BBC director-general Tim Davie in July vowed to “never” again broadcast clips from the interview.

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