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‘I don’t believe she was forced’: David Dimbleby says Princess Diana wanted to speak about Panorama

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‘I don’t believe she was forced’: BBC legend David Dimbleby says Princess Diana did want to do an infamous Panorama interview

  • David Dimbleby, 83, said Diana ‘wanted to say her part’ in Panorama interview
  • In 1995, the rogue reporter Martin Bashir was given an interview with Princess Diana
  • Lord Dyson’s report from last year revealed ‘deceptive behaviour’ Bashir understood
  • Mr Dimbleby’s comments feature on BBC controversy documentary

David Dimbleby has suggested that Princess Diana wasn’t forced to give her infamous 1995 Panorama interview because she clearly “wanted to say her part.”

Despite the huge controversy over how rogue reporter Martin Bashir used underhanded tactics to secure the interview, the veteran BBC presenter said she was not “bullied or coerced” into doing it.

Lord Dyson’s report from last year exposed the “deceptive behavior” Bashir used to secure the interview, including using fake bank statements.

Veteran BBC broadcaster David Dimbleby, 83, has suggested that Princess Diana (pictured left) was not forced to give her infamous 1995 Panorama interview with Martin Bashir (right).

The reporter is also accused of spreading false slander about Princes William and Harry’s former nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke, to whom the BBC had to pay compensation.

Mr Dimbleby’s claims come as a four-part Channel 4 series investigating the death of the princess began Sunday night.

The 83-year-old will present a documentary on the BBC next Tuesday that discusses the biggest controversies.

He was not allowed to use the Diana statues.

He told the Radio Times: ‘I understand Prince William’s objections and the problem with the way the interview came about, but I don’t believe Diana was forced to give it.

“She clearly wants to say her part, she hasn’t been bullied or incited about it. The videos show that what she said was really meant.’

BBC journalist and former Question Time chairman to present a documentary about the BBC looking at the biggest controversies

Former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Stevens has suggested Bashir should have been gently questioned as part of the investigation into Diana’s death.

He said the reporter “certainly” would have been questioned if the senior police team had been aware of the underhanded tactics he had used.

In the interview, it was revealed that former Director General Lord Birt, who was in charge of the company when the Bashir interview took place, refused to be interviewed for the program.

Peter Rippon, who was editor of Newsnight when it controversially dropped its investigation into Jimmy Savile, also declined to participate in the program.

In the Radio Times interview, Dimbleby admitted that he had been “very foolish” for once applying as director general of the BBC.

He also defended the company, saying it would be ‘terrible’ if the BBC did not survive as an independent broadcaster, adding: ‘For God’s sake, don’t let it slip.’

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