BBC Donates $1.6 Million as Reparation for Controversial 1995 ‘Panorama’ Interview

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The BBC has announced it will donate the sales proceeds of its 1995 “Panorama” interview with Princess Diana to charity.

The broadcaster is donating £1.42 million ($1.6 million) to be split between seven charities linked to the princess, including Centrepoint, the English National Ballet and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

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The corporation emphasized that the money is coming from the BBC’s commercial revenue as opposed to license fee funds (which is currently under review by the U.K. government, who have threatened to axe it altogether.)

The “Panorama” interview, which was conducted by host Martin Bashir, aired in 1995. It has since emerged that Bashir used deceitful methods to gain access to the princess, including allegedly forging documents.

An independent investigation into the program, conducted by Lord Dyson, found that the public broadcaster “fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark.”

In July the BBC issued an apology to Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry, and to her ex-husband Prince Charles. It has also paid out to some of those who were caught up in Bashir’s ruse, including the princes’ former nanny Alexandra Pettifer, better known as Tiggy Legge-Bourke and whistleblower Mark Killick.

Killick revealed Bashir had asked him to forge bank statements that suggested those closest to Diana, including her advisors, were being paid by the press to reveal her secrets. It has been suggested Bashir’s deception triggered the princess’s paranoia, which eventually saw her forsake her royal protection and ultimately led to her death in 1997.

“The BBC had indicated its intention to donate to charity the sales proceeds derived from the 1995 ‘Panorama’ interview with Diana, Princess of Wales,” said today regarding the news of the charitable donations. “The BBC has now done so. Given the findings of Lord Dyson, we think this is the right and appropriate course of action.”

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