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TV newsreader in scandal over comments on Diana

A television newsreader was facing a disciplinary hearing yesterday after thousands of viewers heard him make a personal comment about Diana, Princess of Wales.

Peter Rowell was preparing to read a bulletin for HTV West as film of the Princess was being shown on GMTV. He spoke to colleagues without realising a sound link had been left open. Viewers heard him tell a colleague "She had huge knockers" seconds after footage of Diana wearing a low-cut dress was shown. A spokesman apologised said the station received 30 calls of complaint.

The gaffe came as it emerged that the Princess's death generated more newspaper coverage than the most dramatic event of the Second World War and set a media record. The assassination of President John Kennedy and the shooting of John Lennon "pale into insignificance" in terms of column inches, said Durrant Press Cuttings, which monitors 200,000 papers and magazines a year.

Yesterday sources close to the investigation into the Princess's death said that new analyses found that Henri Paul, the driver of the Mercedes, was an alcoholic. Tests on his blood show he drank steadily for an undetermined period of time prior to the crash.