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Ex-judge to lead BBC’s Princess Diana Panorama inquiry as Prince William welcomes investigation

Explosive: Diana with Martin Bashir in the interview PICTURE: BBC/PA

A BBC investigation into Martin Bashir’s Panorama explosive interview with Princess Diana is to be headed by former Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson.

The independent inquiry, to begin immediately, aims to discover what steps the BBC and Mr Bashir took to land the interview in 1995.

It follows allegations by Diana’s brother Earl Spencer that Mr Bashir showed him ‘false bank statements’ to help gain access to the princess.

The result was the interview in which she said: ‘There were three of us in this marriage.’

Last night, Prince William said he welcomed the investigation, saying it was ‘a step in the right direction’.

He added: ‘It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.’

The BBC has claimed Diana had written a note saying she did not see the false bank statements and they played no part in her decision to grant the interview. The letter was lost but has been found again.

The investigation will consider if the steps taken by the BBC and the reporter were appropriate and to what extent they influenced Diana’s decision to give an interview.

Mr Bashir, now the BBC’s religion editor, is off work recovering from heart bypass surgery. The BBC said he has also had ‘significant complications’ from Covid-19, contracted earlier in the year.

Lord Dyson said yesterday: ‘This is an important investigation. I will ensure it is both thorough and fair.’

BBC director-general Tim Davie added: ‘The BBC is determined to get to the truth about these events.’