Former Master of the Rolls and Supreme Court judge to start straight away
The BBC has called on one of the country’s most senior retired judges “to get to the truth” about the circumstances around the 1995 Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.
Lord Dyson, 77, the former Master of the Rolls and Justice of the Supreme Court, will oversee an independent investigation that will look at how the BBC and journalist, Martin Bashir, arranged the interview with the late princess.
Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, called for an inquiry earlier this month, saying “sheer dishonesty” was used to obtain the historic interview. The earl alleged Bashir had used forged bank statements to convince her to do it.
Bashir rose to prominence following the interview with Diana after her split from Prince Charles. Diana famously revealed there were “three of us in this marriage” during the interview. The royals began divorce proceedings in the weeks after the interview aired.
The BBC’s director general, Tim Davie, said in a statement:
“The BBC is determined to get to the truth about these events and that is why we have commissioned an independent investigation. Lord Dyson is an eminent and highly respected figure who will lead a thorough process.”
Dyson added: “This is an important investigation which I will start straight away. I will ensure it is both thorough and fair.”
The inquiry was “tentatively welcomed” by Diana’s son, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Kensington Palace said in a statement the investigation “is a step in the right direction”.
Dyson was called to the bar in 1968 and practised as a barrister in Keating Chambers. He took silk in 1982 and became head of 39 Essex Chambers in 1986, a position he held until 1993 when he was appointed to the High Court. He has since returned to the London set as an arbitrator.
Dyson has appointed Fieldfisher as solicitors to the investigation. The London-headquartered firm previously advised on the inquest into the deaths of Diana and Dodi Al Fayed.