In full: Former BBC Director-Generals grilled about Martin Bashir's Princess Diana interview

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Published on 15 Jun 2021, 13:11
MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee have questioned former BBC Director-Generals Lord Hall and later Lord Birt on events surrounding the Corporation's Panorama Princess Diana interview in 1995, and the broadcaster's handling of investigations into how reporter Martin Bashir obtained it.

Lord Hall apologised to the Royal family for the hurt cause by Martin Bashir's Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.

Lord Tony Hall was first to give evidence to MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on the scandal, and started by acknowledging "how hard this has been for the Royal family, for the two princes and I'm sorry for the hurt caused."

Asked for his response to the Duke of Cambridge's statement that his mother was failed by leaders at the BBC, Lord Hall said: "We did what we thought was right at the time, investigating Martin Bashir not once but twice.

"I have a huge amount of respect for the prince, I've worked with him on various things in the past and I'm deeply sorry for the hurt that this has caused to him and I do want to make that clear."

Asked if he has spoken to the duke to express this remorse, Lord Hall said: "No I haven't, I wanted to have that session with you all before I think about what I do next."

Former BBC director-general Lord John Birt was second to be questioned by MPs about events leading up to the interview.

They also faced questions on the broadcaster's handling of investigations into how Bashir obtained the world exclusive.

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