Will Martin Bashir be arrested? Ex-BBC journalist faces backlash for Princess Diana's Panorama interview

Will Martin Bashir be arrested? Ex-BBC journalist faces backlash for Princess Diana's Panorama interview
Martin Bashir used 'deceitful' methods to secure interview with Princess Diana (Getty Images)

The BBC issued a "full and unconditional apology" after it emerged that journalist Martin Bashir had forged bank statements to secure an interview with Princess Diana. The story has rocked British politics and journalism after the report was released by the BBC. The inquiry into the interview was led by former celebrated judge Lord Dyson. 

BBC Director-General Tim Davie told the public that the "BBC should have made greater effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the time and been more transparent about what it knew. While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology. The BBC offers that today."


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Princess Diana visits a community center in Brixton, October 1983 (Photo by Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)


However, despite the gesture, many on social media are calling for Bashir to be arrested for the deceptive tactics he employed to land the bombshell interview.

"Martin Bashir is obviously a war criminal, arrest him and put him on trial at the Hague. I am reading this right, aren't I?" one tweeted.

"It’s to be hoped that @metpoliceuk are about to arrest Martin Bashir on charges of Fraud and Criminal deception, journalists cannot be above the law," another added.

"Martin Bashir should be arrested. The BBC has used the Nottingham Police to arrest Alex Belfield 5 times and harassed him for over 18 months and has had his home raided 3 times. Hold BBC accountable. #ArrestMartinBashir," a third wrote.

"So what’s going to happen now, with the BBC and Martin Bashir," asked another Twitter user, adding, "They should be arrested, the people responsible, ie, BBC executive, and the rouge reporter, lord hall and Bashir, arrest them both, simple, and take the title Lord from him immediately, this is disgusting".






Origins of Martin Bashir

The discredited former BBC journalist rose to fame thanks to his 1995 interview with Diana where she spilled the beans about her divorce from Prince Charles. But before that, he had a modest upbringing as a child in one of the many immigrant families living in the UK.

Bashir's parents were originally from Pakistan and he was raised in South London. He studied English at Southampton University and then religious history at King's College London. After graduating, Bashir turned to journalism. 

Martin Bashir at a press conference for 'Girls Gone Wild' creator Joe Francis at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel on March 13, 2008, in Beverly Hills, California (Getty Images)

He worked as a freelance sports journalist before joining the BBC in 1986. He was working for Panorama, the BBC's current affairs documentary program when he convinced Princess Diana to speak to the public in 1995. After that, he joined ITV in 1999. Then in 2004, he moved to the States, working with ABC and NBC. He ran into trouble multiple times in the US, once for notoriously making a racial slur. 

In 2008, he infamously said, "I’m happy to be in the midst of so many Asian babes," while attending an Asian American Journalists Association convention in Chicago. He was suspended by ABC after that incident, but never made headlines. The suspension became widely known and talked about after Bashir was forced to resign from MSNBC in 2015. That came after he called the former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin an “idiot” and “dunce."

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