Only a week after the head of the BBC pledged never to broadcast again its discredited Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, it emerges that extracts from the 1995 program will be included in a documentary to be shown on Sky and Now TV next month.
The Princess, a documentary directed by Ed Perkins re-telling the late Princess’s life through archive footage, will include footage of the interview, despite her son Prince William also expressing his wishes that this never be aired again. Perkins’ film has already had a brief run in UK cinemas.
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The BBC returned the BAFTA award it won for the Panorama interview – in which Diana revealed her distress in her marriage, her eating disorders and her prophecy she would never be queen – after interviewer Martin Bashir’s deceptive practices in obtaining Diana’s agreement to be interviewed were uncovered.
Last week, the BBC’s director-general Tim Davie said in a statement:
“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.”
His words came after the BBC paid £200,000 damages to Princes William and Harry’s former nanny, now named Alexandra Pettifer, after she was wrongly alleged to have had an affair with her employer, the Prince of Wales, during the making of the interview.
William said last year: “It is my firm view that this Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again. It effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialised by the BBC and others.”
A Sky spokesman told The Times newspaper: “The interview will remain in the documentary. As the film aims to tell Diana’s story through archive material as it occurred, it is not influenced by the context of what we know now, about this, or any other event.”
The film will be aired on August 14.
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