Martin Bashir was paid '£45k a time' for BBC appearances after Diana trick

15 June 2021, 15:28 | Updated: 15 June 2021, 20:09

Martin Bashir was paid the equivalent of around £45,000 per appearance on the BBC
Martin Bashir was paid the equivalent of around £45,000 per appearance on the BBC. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Martin Bashir was paid "£45,000 a time" for BBC appearances after tricking Princess Diana, a committee of MPs has heard.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee on Tuesday questioned a number of senior former BBC figures, including former Director-General Lord Tony Hall.

On Mr Bashir's rehiring after tricking Princess Diana, where he was employed as the corporation's religious affairs correspondent on between £80,000 and £120,000, committee chair Julian Knight quizzed Lord Hall about what he did to earn the salary.

READ MORE: 'No evidence' Martin Bashir was rehired as part of Diana interview cover-up, BBC review finds

READ MORE:

Mr Knight told Lord Hall that over three years Bashir appeared on air and on the website about half a dozen times, adding: "That's about £45,000 a time, nice work if you can get it."

Lord Hall replied: "That is not effective use of a correspondent, not a good record."

Former BBC director Lord Tony Hall described Martin Bashir&squot;s use as a correspondent as "not effective"
Former BBC director Lord Tony Hall described Martin Bashir's use as a correspondent as "not effective". Picture: House of Commons

Mr Knight said it was "utterly extraordinary" that the BBC would re-hire Bashir as religious affairs correspondent and asked how it came to be that a "known liar" was brought back to the corporation.

Lord Hall said he was not going to second guess the people who were filling the role, and added: "If we knew then what we know now, of course he wouldn't have been re-hired."

Mr Knight said: "A cynic would suggest the process was entirely concocted so that the resolution at the end of the day was that Mr Bashir would get this job."

READ MORE: 'I've never seen anything like it': Nick Ferrari blasts BBC over Diana interview

Lord Hall apologised for the impact tricking Diana and her subsequent bombshell interview had on the royal family.

"...for the two princes and I'm sorry for the hurt caused," he added.

He continued: "At core here, I trusted a journalist, I gave him a second chance and that trust was abused and was misplaced.

"I don't think the words 'honest and honourable', 25 years on, look appropriate at all."

Martin Bashir lied to get access to Princess Diana, a report found last month
Martin Bashir lied to get access to Princess Diana, a report found last month. Picture: BBC

Asked why he had reported to the board of governors, following the 1996 internal inquiry into Martin Bashir, that he was an "honest and honourable man", Lord Hall said: "I took what I think was an unusual step in saying I will take part in the investigation and interview Bashir myself.

"Why? Because I had to establish whether I believed Bashir, whether I should therefore give him a yellow card or dismiss him, and that was what I was trying to work through.

READ MORE: Diana scandal 'was BBC's phone hacking moment' claims ex-Panorama producer

"In the end we came to a judgment about his lack of experience, that he was out of his depth, that he was contrite, and we gave him a second chance.

"We trusted him and it turns out we couldn't. In that light I understand I am using words which when you look at them now just seem wrong. But it was me trying to work out, 'Could I trust this man or not?'"

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Tories raise less than £300k in second week of election campaign, as over three-quarters of all donations go to Labour

File photo of passengers boarding an Easyjet plane

Chaos as Easyjet kicks 26 men off flight headed from the UK to Portugal for 'disruptive behaviour'

Bardia Shojeifard

'Outwardly normal' teen killer with 'worrying interest in knives' posed with huge blade before murdering Alfie Lewis, 15

Police were called to a property at Shorncliffe Road shortly after 3pm on Sunday

Pictured: Baby girl mauled to death in Coventry dog attack at family home

Public schoolboy guilty of attempted murder after vicious clawhammer attack on sleeping staff and students ahead of 'zombie apocalypse'

Public schoolboy obsessed by 'zombie apocalypse' guilty of claw hammer attack on sleeping staff and students

PC Idominik Efeotor raised the issue at the annual State of London debate

'The people who investigate the officers are the problem’: Black Met officer hits out at disproportionate treatment in disciplinary process

Salisbury Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess

Former spy and daughter may give evidence at Salisbury poisonings inquiry

Rishi Sunak has urged voters not to let Labour 'waltz into office'

'Don't let Labour waltz into office', Sunak tells voters as Brits may not 'ever' be able to get them out of power

Exclusive
Starmer says eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as he slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil

Starmer says eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as he slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil

The M6

Drivers face misery as major motorway closed for three days next week, sending cars on 90 minute diversion

Kings College Hospital NHS Trust is one of two London Hospitals affected by the hackers

Russian hackers publish NHS patients' details and blood test results online after London hospital cyber attack

Bardia Shojaeifard killed Alfie Lewis

'Outwardly normal' boy, 15, who murdered teenager Alfie Lewis named for first time as judge lifts anonymity

Helicopters, sniffer dogs and 4x4s have been deployed in the search for Jay Slater.

Helicopters and sniffer dogs deployed as Spanish authorities focus on new terrain in search for missing Jay Slater

Former Man United footballer Nicky Butt sentenced after breaking motorcyclist's leg in horror Range Rover crash

Former Man United footballer Nicky Butt sentenced after breaking motorcyclist's leg in horror Range Rover crash

Nick Adderley has been sacked after panel found him guilty of gross misconduct and lying

Police chief who wore fake Falklands medal found guilty of gross misconduct and sacked for lying

Anthony Hill disappeared on Monday morning

Body found by police searching for Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert colleague Anthony Hill