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‘We’ve all been Bash-eared’

Diana, Princess of Wales
The Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales in November 1995 attracted a record 23 million viewers and made Martin Bashir a household name. Diana made the admission that “there were three of us in the marriage, so it was a bit crowded”.

A friend of the Princess said yesterday: “The tactics employed by Martin Bashir to persuade the Princess to do the interview were peculiar and bizarre and I would rather not say anything more.
While Diana never expressed to me any misgivings immediately after the programme, the fact that it prompted the Queen to order her and Charles to divorce was actually the last thing Diana wanted. In turn, of course, that led to her being stripped of her HRH title and ending up without royal protection, which had awful consequences, as we all now know.”

George Best
The former Manchester United footballer was interviewed by Mr Bashir following his liver transplant in April 2000.

Mr Best said last week: “He spent all the time talking about himself. At the end of the interview he was incredibly gushing and asked what my favourite restaurant was so that he could take me out to dinner the following week. It never happened. I never heard from him again. He’s very false. He got what he wanted and he disappeared.”

The interview led Best to coin the term “Bash Ear”, claiming that the interviewer talked more about himself than anyone else.

Michael Barrymore
The disgraced television presenter was interviewed by Mr Bashir last October after the death of 31-year-old Stuart Lubbock at a party in Mr Barrymore’s Essex home in March. He later said he felt “betrayed” by Mr Bashir.

Mr Barrymore’s agent, Mike Brown, said last week: “Bashir really betrayed Michael’s trust. He played on the fact that he had interviewed Diana and turned her reputation around.

“What happened to Michael Jackson was very similar to what Bashir did to us. He plays on the familiarity he gains with his subject and, in both cases, didn’t even touch on the enormous talent of his subjects. He’s only interested in digging up dirt instead of looking at the facts and the evidence. It’s sick.”

The Lawrence suspects
In April 1999 Mr Bashir interviewed the five youths suspected of murdering Stephen Lawrence, the black teenager.

Max Clifford, the PR agent, said: “Martin Bashir’s craft is to gain his subject’s trust and then betray them. I advised the five and I know that they were very unhappy with how they were treated. They said that Bashir went against what he had promised.

“It was easy for Bashir to give Michael Jackson enough rope to hang himself – and he certainly achieved it.”

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