Netflix will dramatise Martin Bashir’s controversial Panorama interview with the Princess Diana, despite the Duke of Cambridge’s demands that it never be broadcast again.
The fifth season of The Crown is to include an entire episode devoted to the interview, which the BBC journalist was found this year to have used deception to obtain.
Viewed as a key moment in the series, it is certainly a story the royal family would prefer to be left alone.
The company’s decision defies a plea from Prince William, who has said before: “It is my firm view that this Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again.”
“In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important. These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down too.”
A 1996 internal investigation conducted by former director-general Lord Hall of Birkenhead, who was director of BBC news and current affairs when the interview was screened, was described as “woefully ineffective” in the 2021 Lord Dyson’s report.
Bashir commissioned fake bank statements and used “deceitful behaviour” in a “serious breach” of the BBC’s producer guidelines to secure his interview, the Dyson report concluded.