Martin Bashir

Who is Martin Bashir? Journalist who interviewed Princess Diana is ‘seriously unwell’ with Covid

The Panorama and X Factor: Celebrity star has caught coronavirus...

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Martin Bashir, the man most famous for his explosive Panorama interview with Princess Diana, is currently “seriously unwell” after contracting Covid-19.

On the 25th anniversary of his infamous televised chat with Diana, the BBC confirmed that the journalist is battling the deadly virus.

Martin Bashir
Martin took part in The X Factor: Celebrity (Credit: Syco/Thames)

Read more: Princess Diana ‘said marriage to Prince Charles was hell from day one,’ claims royal expert

But who is Martin Bashir and why is he famous? Here’s everything you need to know…

Who is Martin Bashir?

Martin, 57, is an English journalist born and raised in Wandsworth, London, to Pakistani Christian parents.

He started work as a journalist in 1986.

He worked for the BBC until 1999 on programmes including Songs of Praise, Public Eye and Panorama.

Martin later joined ITV, working on special documentary programmes and features for Tonight with Trevor McDonald.

He is currently BBC News religion editor.

What is Martin Bashir famous for?

Martin Bashir was relatively unknown until he interviewed Princess Diana in 1995.

A staggering 22.8million viewers watched the Panorama episode.

In it, Diana, Princess of Wales, opened up about her failed marriage to the Prince of Wales.

Since then, Martin has conducted interviews with, among others, Louise Woodward, the five suspects in the Stephen Lawrence case, Michael Barrymore, Jeffrey Archer, Major Charles Ingram, Michael Jackson and Joanne Lees.

He resigned from MSNBC in 2013 after calling former US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin a “world-class idiot”.

Martin Bashir and Michael Jackson interview
Martin Bashir interviewed Michael Jackson in 2003 (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

Read more: Princess Diana: What did she say during her BBC Panorama interview?

Why was Martin’s Panorama interview so controversial?

Martin met Princess Di in 1995 for Panorama.

During the interview, Diana famously said about Charles and Camilla: “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

It was the first time Diana had spoken so openly about her failed marriage.

She also admitted to having an affair.

Martin ordered a freelance BBC graphic designer to forge NatWest bank statements to manipulate Diana into agreeing to interview, according to C4 documentary Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview.

Does Martin Bashir have Covid-19?

A BBC spokeswoman revealed that Martin is “seriously unwell” with coronavirus complications (Thursday October 22 2020).

She said: “We are sorry to say that Martin is seriously unwell with Covid-19 related complications.

“Everyone at the BBC is wishing him a full recovery.

“We’d ask that his privacy, and that of his family, is respected at this time.”

Martin Bashir on X Factor Celebrity
Martin Bashir took part on The X Factor: Celebrity (Credit: ITV)

Did Martin win The X Factor: Celebrity in 2019?

Martin took part in The X Factor: Celebrity in 2019.

He joked he was more nervous to perform in front of Simon Cowell than talk to the Princess of Wales.

Martin also made the heartbreaking confession that his late brother was the driving force behind his decision to take part.

Tommy was just 29 when he lost his battle against Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a lifelong muscle wasting illness that is always fatal.

Megan McKenna eventually won the series, with Max and Harvey finishing in second place and Jenny Ryan in third place.

Is Martin married?

Martin is married to wife Deborah Bashir.

He and Deborah have three children, called Samuel, Phoebe and Eliza.

Martin was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, and Deborah was there to support him during that illness.

You can watch the Martin Bashir Panorama interview Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview on All 4.

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