The Crown ‘will show what we now know’ about controversial Panorama interview with Princess Diana

Season five stars Elizabeth Debicki as Diana

Ellie Harrison
Friday 22 July 2022 08:03 BST
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The Crown season five will reflect what is now known about the circumstances that led to the Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, and how she was treated.

The 1995 interview, conducted by then-BBC journalist Martin Bashir, made global headlines as the princess spoke openly about her marriage to the Prince of Wales, famously telling Bashir “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”.

Last year, a report by Lord Dyson concluded that the BBC covered up “deceitful behaviour” by Bashir to secure the bombshell interview and led to a call from the Duke of Cambridge for it never to be aired again.

The revelations emerged as scriptwriters were working on the fifth series of Netflix’s hit royal drama, who have apparently incorporated the new information into the forthcoming storyline.

A source close to the show told Press Association: “Season five of The Crown will dramatise events surrounding the Panorama interview, given the pivotal part it played during the time period the new series covers.

“It will reflect what we now know about how the interview was obtained and how Diana was treated.”

The BBC vowed on Thursday (21 July) to “never” again broadcast clips from the interview.

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in ‘The Crown’

Director-general Tim Davie said: “Now we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained, I have decided that the BBC will never show the programme again, nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters.

“It does of course remain part of the historical record and there may be occasions in the future when it will be justified for the BBC to use short extracts for journalistic purposes, but these will be few and far between and will need to be agreed at executive committee level and set in the full context of what we now know about the way the interview was obtained.

“I would urge others to exercise similar restraint.”

The fifth series of the lavish royal drama, due to air in November, will see Dominic West star as Prince Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Diana.

The Wire star West takes from Josh O’Connor, who played a younger version of the royal, while Debicki replaces Emma Corrin.

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Imelda Staunton will take over the role of the Queen from Olivia Colman, while Jonathan Pryce replaces Tobias Menzies as the Duke of Edinburgh and Lesley Manville will be Princess Margaret, following in the footsteps of Helena Bonham Carter.

The Crown was due to end after the fifth season, but the show’s creator and writer Peter Morgan later said it will be extended to include a sixth.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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