The BBC has donated £1.42 million to charity from the sales of the 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana. An investigation discovered that reporter Martin Bashir used forged documents to gain access to the late royal. The BBC distributed the funds equally among seven Diana-related charities, calling it “the right and appropriate course of action.” It stated that the donations are derived from commercial revenue rather than the licence fee.
Centrepoint, English National Ballet, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, The Leprosy Mission, National Aids Trust, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, and The Diana Award have all received funds.
The first six charities on the list are those in which the princess was still involved at the time of her death, and The Diana Award was established in her honour. “The BBC had indicated its intention to donate to charity the sales proceeds from the 1995 Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales,” the broadcaster said.
“This has now been done by the BBC.” Given Lord Dyson’s findings, we believe this is the correct and appropriate course of action.”
The proceeds come from the sale of the 1995 Panorama interview with Diana conducted by then-BBC journalist Martin Bashir, which made international headlines because the princess spoke openly about her marriage to the Prince of Wales. “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a little crowded,” she famously told Bashir.
Last year, Lord Dyson’s report concluded that the BBC covered up “deceptive behaviour” by Bashir in order to secure the bombshell interview, prompting the Duke of Cambridge to demand that it never be aired again. The BBC has previously apologised for the circumstances surrounding the interview.
“Every year, we support thousands of homeless young people into a job and a home by providing safe and stable housing, support with physical and mental health issues, and opportunities to access education, training, and employment,” said a spokesperson for Centrepoint. Without donations, none of this work would be possible, so we are grateful to receive this generous sum at a time when the country’s most vulnerable young people are really struggling.”