Diana, Princess of Wales’s infamous 1995 interview with BBC’s Martin Bashir, is coming to Netflix in April. Diana, The Interview that Shook the World will premiere on the streaming platform on 11 April. The documentary focuses on the interview where she spoke about her marriage to Prince Charles and his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. The late princess famously said about Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla, “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Twenty-six years after the initial interview, the film looks at how the interview was orchestrated – uncovering why Diana chose to participate in the interview and how a relatively unknown name, Martin Bashir came to earn Diana’s trust.
It’s said to be Diana’s brother, the Earl Spencer, who introduced Diana to Bashir after being courted by the journalist. BBC’s boss, Tim Davie, has apologised to Charles Spencer in recent years after it was found Bashir ‘used fake bank statements’ to win her trust ahead of the interview. In November 2020, the new director-general of the BBC reportedly wrote to the Earl, apologising but declining to open an investigation into Bashir’s conduct.
“We will do everything possible to get to the bottom of this,” Davie said in a statement.
“The BBC is taking this very seriously and we want to get to the truth,’ he said. ‘We are in the process of commissioning a robust and independent investigation. The recent stories have highlighted some concerning issues. The BBC must hold ourselves to the gold standard of journalism.”
The interview aired on 20 November 1995 and became the BBC One Panorama broadcast of the century. Nearly 23 million people tuned into the candid interview that broke multiple protocols as Diana exposed her issues with bulimia, depression, her marriage, and her life in the spotlight. During the interview, Diana also admitted she had been unfaithful in her marriage, having an affair with army officer James Hewitt.
In 1996, the BBC carried out an internal review of Bashir’s behaviour and the alleged fake bank statements. The statements are said to be forged by a BBC graphics designer, but they did not help in gaining the interview. The investigation concluded on 13 April to which the BBC said:
“The BBC has been able, independently, to verify that these documents were put to no use which had any bearing, direct or indirect, on the Panorama interview with the Princess of Wales.“
Bashir has not defended himself publicly for the interview. As of late 2020, he is on leave, recovering from heart surgery and complications from COVID-19.