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

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

  • The broadcaster, 83, said Diana wanted to ‘say her part’ in Panorama interview
  • In 1995 rogue reporter Martin Bashir secured interview with Princess Diana
  • Lord Dyson’s report last year exposed ‘deceitful behaviour’ Bashir used to get it 
  • Mr Dimbleby’s comments come ahead of documentary about BBC controversies

David Dimbleby has suggested that Princess Diana was not coerced into giving her notorious 1995 Panorama interview as she clearly wanted to ‘say her part’. 

Despite huge controversy about the way rogue reporter Martin Bashir used underhand tactics to secure the interview, the veteran BBC presenter said she was not ‘bullied or hectored’ into doing it. 

Last year’s report by Lord Dyson exposed the ‘deceitful behaviour’ that Bashir used to secure the interview, including commissioning of fake bank statements. 

Veteran BBC broadcaster David Dimbleby, 83, has suggested that Princess Diana (pictured left) was not coerced into giving her notorious 1995 Panorama interview with Martin Bashir (right)

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

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

The 83-year-old is presenting a documentary about the BBC next Tuesday looking at its biggest controversies. 

He was not allowed to use the Diana footage. 

Speaking to the Radio Times, he said: ‘I understand Prince William’s objections and the problem with how the interview was achieved, but I don’t believe Diana was coerced into giving it. 

‘She clearly wants to say her part, she was not bullied or hectored into it. The clips show that what she was saying was genuinely meant.’

The BBC journalist and former Question Time chair is set to present a documentary about the BBC looking at its biggest controversies

Former head of the Metropolitan Police, Lord Stevens, has suggested Bashir should have been interviewed under caution as part of the probe into Diana’s death. 

He said the reporter would ‘definitely’ have been questioned had the senior police team known about the underhand tactics he had used.

In the interview it was revealed that former director-general Lord Birt, who was in charge of the corporation when the Bashir interview happened, refused to be interviewed for the programme.

Peter Rippon, who was editor of Newsnight when it controversially dropped its Jimmy Savile investigation, also declined to take part in the programme.

In the Radio Times interview Dimbleby admitted he had been ‘very foolish’ for having once applied to be BBC director-general.

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

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