Journalist Martin Bashir left an indelible mark on the history of the royal family when he wrangled Princess Diana for a tell-all interview. The interview lives in infamy, with the royal family arguing in court that she was misled. What’s he been up to for the last 28 years? Let’s find out.
Who Is Martin Bashir?
Growing up in Wandsworth, London, Bashir studied English and History before earning a master’s degree in theology from King’s College. He quickly got into journalism at the BBC where he worked from 1986 to 1999. He worked on many shows, including the investigative journalism program Panorama. In 1995, he sat down on the program for an infamous interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.
The Princess Diana Interview
It’s comical that tabloids constantly bash Prince Harry for talking to Oprah Winfrey when his mother, Diana, sat down for a tell-all interview on the BBC. There’s one key difference, however: Harry knew exactly what he was getting into, and Diana may have been taken advantage of. Let’s rewind.
In November 1995, Diana and Prince Charles’s marriage was all but over. The two had separated, and the public was dying to know why. Bashir secretly arranged an interview with Diana where she barred her soul. 23 million people watched the interview, and it rocked the public’s reverence for the monarchy.
Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother who introduced her to Bashir, later claimed he was groomed and misled to win trust. Bashir then allegedly used forged bank statements to win Diana’s trust. Diana did not regret the interview, but it still made its way back into the courts. Expensive settlements dot the aftermath. Bashir has effectively spent the last 28 years defending his interview, and it’s tethered to his legacy.
What Is Bashir Up To Today?
A few years after the Panorama interview, Bashir left the BBC for rival station ITV. In 2004, he moved to the United States to co-anchor Nightline for ABC. His tenure on the show was controversial, with his sexist remarks leading to a public apology.
In 2010, MSNBC handed him his own show, Martin Bashir. It lasted three years and was once again stormed by controversy. It got the ax after he expressed his desire for someone to defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth.
Things came full circle in 2016 when Bashir was re-hired at BBC News, but the inquiry into the Panorama interview and a bout with COVID-19 led to him leaving once again in 2021. He always seems to land on his feet, so expect Bashir to be hired again someday soon.