BBC donates £1.4m to charities linked to Princess Diana over Panorama interview


The BBC has donated £1.4m to charity as part of its response to a controversial interview conducted with Princess Diana 27 years ago.

Seven charities linked to the Princess of Wales have each received a £200,000 donation from the broadcaster: Centrepoint, the English National Ballet, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, The Leprosy Mission, the National Aids Trust, the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, and the Diana Award.

The BBC also repeated its apology for the way it handled its 1995 interview with Princess Diana. An independent inquiry published last year found that the BBC reporter Martin Bashir had forged documents to secure Diana’s agreement to the piece. Bashir denied doing this.

The National Aids Trust, where Diana had been a patron, welcomed the donation and attacked the BBC’s “unethical and morally wrong actions” regarding the interview.

Deborah Gold, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We will ensure the donation is used to make progress on issues that Princess Diana cared passionately about.

“Princess Diana powerfully challenged HIV stigma during her time with National Aids Trust.

“We will continue to fiercely protect the rights of people living with HIV and ensure they can live their fullest lives possible.”

Princess Diana was president of The Royal Marsden hospital. A spokesperson for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity said: “This donation will help us to ensure The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust’s nurses, doctors and research teams can continue to provide the very best care and develop life-saving treatments for people with cancer across the UK and around the world.”

A Centrepoint spokesperson said: “We are grateful to receive this generous sum at a time when the country’s most vulnerable young people are really struggling.”

The BBC said: “The BBC had indicated its intention to donate to charity the sales proceeds derived from the 1995 Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales. The BBC has now done so.

“Given the findings of [the inquiry by] Lord Dyson, we think this is the right and appropriate course of action.”

The Princess of Wales died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Earlier this year, the children’s hospice Tŷ Hafan received a reported six-figure sum paid as a settlement by the BBC to the Princess of Wales’ former private secretary as part of the fallout from the Panorama interview.

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