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Lord Hall and Lord Birt to face questions on events surrounding BBC’s landmark Princess Diana interview

10 June 2021

Former BBC Director-Generals Lord Hall and Lord Birt will be questioned about events leading up to Panorama’s landmark interview with the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and the broadcaster’s handling of investigations into how reporter Martin Bashir obtained it.

Purpose of the session

MPs will focus on a number of findings of a report by Lord Dyson, commissioned by the BBC, including the use of faked bank statements in order to gain access to Princess Diana in 1995. The hearing will also consider the BBC’s internal investigation carried out by Lord Hall in 1996 as the Managing Director of News and Current Affairs.

The implications of Lord Dyson’s conclusions for the corporation will be examined with evidence from BBC Director-General Tim Davie and Chairman Richard Sharp.

Witnesses

Tuesday 15 June

Panel 1

From 10.00

  • Tony Hall, The Lord Hall of Birkenhead, Former Director-General of the BBC

Panel 2, from 10.45

  • John Birt, The Lord Birt, Former Director-General of the BBC

Panel 3, from 11.30

  • Tim Davie CBE, Director-General, BBC
  • Richard Sharp, Chairman, BBC

Chair Julian Knight raised a number of questions with Director-General Tim Davie following publication of the Dyson report, including why the BBC rehired Martin Bashir in 2016.

The DCMS Committee regularly reports on the work of the BBC following publication of its Annual Report and Accounts.

Further information

Image: PA