AMANDA PLATELL: BBC reporter Martin Bashir must face the music12/05/2020
AMANDA PLATELL: BBC reporter Martin Bashir must face the music over the underhand tricks he used to get an interview with Princess Diana and other alleged victims
Back in 1995, Panorama reporter Martin Bashir was graciously accepting awards for his ‘interview of the century’ with Princess Diana.
The most famous woman in the world had unforgettably revealed that ‘there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded’.
Fast forward 25 years and Met boss Cressida Dick says she hasn’t ruled out a criminal probe into the tactics Bashir used to get the interview, in a scandal threatening to engulf the BBC.
It was only through the diligence of Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, that the sheer depth of Bashir’s underhand tricks in cajoling and even grooming the Princess belatedly came to light.
Back in 1995, Panorama reporter Martin Bashir was graciously accepting awards for his ‘interview of the century’ with Princess Diana
It was only through the diligence of Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer (right), that the sheer depth of Bashir’s underhand tricks in cajoling and even grooming the Princess belatedly came to light
Earl Spencer kept notes of his meeting with Bashir, which he showed to this paper. He revealed how the BBC’s man produced forged bank statements suggesting Diana’s closest confidantes were selling stories to the media.
Now other alleged victims of Bashir’s questionable tactics have come forth — as revealed by the Mail’s Guy Adams this week. The evidence against this tainted reporter grows by the day.
First is Michelle Hadaway, mother of ‘Babes in the Wood’ murder victim Karen, who was nine when she died.
Bashir took the child’s clothes, claiming he would have them DNA tested and providing grieving Michelle with a note to that effect. Then he lost them and denied having taken them at all.
Now other alleged victims of Bashir’s questionable tactics have come forth — as revealed by the Mail’s Guy Adams this week. The evidence against this tainted reporter grows by the day. First is Michelle Hadaway (pictured), mother of ‘Babes in the Wood’ murder victim Karen, who was nine when she died
Then there’s Alex Best, widow of footballing legend George (both pictured). She claims Bashir ingratiated himself with her, plied her with alcohol and checked her phone when she went to the loo
Bashir also interviewed five racist thugs, two of whom were convicted of the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence. Stephen’s mother Doreen says she’ll never forgive Bashir and accuses him of cashing in on her son’s death.
Then there’s Alex Best, widow of footballing legend George. She claims Bashir ingratiated himself with her, plied her with alcohol and checked her phone when she went to the loo.
Bashir also interviewed five racist thugs, two of whom were convicted of the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence. Stephen’s mother Doreen (above) says she’ll never forgive Bashir and accuses him of cashing in on her son’s death
Bashir’s ‘documentary’ on Best portrayed Alex as a boozer who enabled her husband’s addiction.
Suffice to say, Bashir gives every appearance of having used dirty tricks to win the trust of his interviewees who had, for one reason or another, found themselves thrust into the public eye.
The BBC is currently conducting its own ‘independent’ inquiry into Bashir’s conduct, led by former Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson.
Cressida Dick says she is awaiting a formal complaint before beginning a police investigation into Bashir.
Step forward the Earl’s head of security, Alan Waller, who is considering taking action against Bashir over alleged forged documents that falsely claimed he took payments from the Press to spy on Diana.
Is the dam about to break on this revered BBC reporter, now on sick leave from his job as — incredibly —Auntie’s religion editor?
There may have been three in Diana’s marriage, but there were two in that interview at Kensington Palace all those years ago: a paranoid Princess and a predatory TV journalist, who could soon have to stand in the dock and account for his actions.
Isla’s fairy fail
Ahead of the launch of her new Disney movie Godmothered, Isla Fisher attacks classics such as Cinderella and Snow White for ‘toxic masculinity’.
‘Negative stereotypes,’ she opines, ‘go along with fairy tales.’
Ahead of the launch of her new Disney movie Godmothered, Isla Fisher attacks classics such as Cinderella and Snow White for ‘toxic masculinity’
In her no-doubt unmissable film, the impeccably woke Fisher plays a widowed mother visited by a fairy godmother-in-training who learns there’s more to life than rich, handsome princes and ball gowns.
Jolly good, although Isla was a mere soap star when she married Borat superstar Sacha Baron Cohen, and they now have a joint £120 million fortune.
She has no shortage of ball gowns and she did get her prince — although, to be fair, even his mum couldn’t call Sacha handsome.
I never loved this story, Ali
On the 50th anniversary of Love Story, Ali MacGraw, now 81, who played the film’s tragic heroine, says she cringes when recalling the immortal line: ‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry.’
Now, Ali admits that’s nonsense. Instead, her advice is: ‘Try not to do it again — and try and try to clean up the hurt.’
No Oscar nominations for the new slogan, love, but perhaps you could make a contribution to an eco charity for the billions of paper sick-bags the original movie sent into landfill.
Drip Harry must look outside
In his now-notorious ‘raindrops’ speech, Prince Harry mused: ‘The moment you become a father, everything really does change because then you start to realise, well, what is the point of bringing a new person into this world when they get to your age, it’s on fire?’
Has he tried looking out of the window?
Has Harry tried looking out of the window? California is suffering devastating wildfires…
Because if he turned away from his laptop he might notice that, unlike raindrop-drenched Blighty, sun-baked California is suffering the most devastating wildfires on the planet.
Parents are under pressure this Christmas as kids demand the latest PlayStation, £450, plus the latest iPhone, £800.
Some are taking second jobs and selling belongings to make dreams come true.
No sympathy here from a generation who grew up grateful for a box of chocolates, the love of a family and an overcooked turkey.
Diana’s ex-butler Paul Burrell sets the record straight over the lies perpetrated in The Crown: not least that the Queen and Prince Philip have a cold relationship and sleep separately.
‘They both have a suite of rooms, but there is a joint bedroom in the middle and that is the bedroom they use,’ says Burrell.
And as for those tatty old winceyette nighties Olivia Colman’s Queen favours — also untrue. ‘She is an elegantly dressed woman who wore pink, flowing silk to bed.’
TMI, Paul! But I prefer his version to the lurid fantasies peddled by Netflix.
The hero of the Covid hour has to be England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Stafford Nguyen Van-Tam, loved for his extended metaphors and because he stood up to criticise Dominic Cummings’s dubious eye-test in May.
Grazia has named him in its ‘Lust List’ and Ladbrokes has 19/1 on Van-Tam appearing on Strictly.
Jean-Claude Van Damme might be Hollywood’s action hero, but our Van-Tam is the real thing
This bullet-headed boffin takes no prisoners: a trait he perhaps learnt from his grandfather, a former Prime Minister of South Vietnam, nicknamed ‘the Tiger of Cai Lay’, who brutally suppressed a Communist uprising in the 1950s.
Jean-Claude Van Damme might be Hollywood’s action hero, but our Van-Tam is the real thing.
Outrage from the Left as Rishi Sunak’s gorgeous wife Akshata steps out in a £1,630 Valentino leather jacket and £445 Gucci trainers.
She’s richer than the Queen thanks to her family money — it’s her cash, get off her case! I’m thinking how hot Akshata would look as our next First Lady.
- More mixed Covid messages as Jacob Rees-Mogg insists Father Christmas does not need a vaccine and has been granted a special travel corridor — while the Government orders every other fat, old bloke, however jolly, to stay indoors.
- Diane Abbott joined the luvvies blocking a flight containing convicted Jamaican criminals, claiming ‘many people feel that this mass deportation is cruel’. Sorry, Diane: the vast majority believe foreign rapists and murderers should be sent home. And as for ‘mass deportation’, there are 50 of them, honey — fewer than Boris’s majority. But then Di never was good at maths.
- Great news that the Government has finally allowed people to hug elderly family members in care homes after the Mail’s long campaign. But how troubling that many such homes also have Do Not Resuscitate orders in place for the vulnerable, when families have not been consulted. We can only hope those long-delayed hugs will not be the last for those vulnerable people.
Singer Rita Ora has been rightly pilloried for hosting a 30th birthday party with a group of friends at a Notting Hill restaurant during lockdown.
Rita has ‘sincerely’ apologised and voluntarily paid a £10,000 fine. However, she’s hardly alone. A survey finds half of Brits have secretly broken lockdown rules.
Rita was selfish, I admit — but has she been singled out just because she’s famous?
Leaving No 10, Lady T was asked by daughter Carol if she’d be able to manage a supermarket shop. Maggie said: ‘Good heavens, yes, dear! I’ve opened enough of them.’ A sardonic wit those of us who knew her witnessed, so lacking in Gillian Anderson’s brittle parody in The Crown.
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