I’m not going to even begin to defend the dodgy dealings that went on to secure Martin Bashir’s interview with Princess Diana 25 years ago.
His reputation is in tatters, but suggestions that how it came about in any way devalues the validity of the revelations that came out of that Panorama programme is just crazy talk.
The method of gaining access to The Princess of Wales may have fallen below accepted standards at the BBC, but any tabloid journalist in the mid 90s would have sunk far lower than a fake bank statement to get some face to face time with the most photographed woman in the world.
Once the cameras were rolling Bashir was just the guy in the other chair. Diana knew exactly what she was saying and what the fallout would be so I don’t buy the idea that the media manipulated her.
If any manipulating was done it was the other way round. This was a woman scorned and Panorama provided her with the platform to show how the Firm had chewed her up and was now intent on spitting her out. Of course it would have created hostility with her soon to be ex husband, but at the time I think she probably saw that as an added bonus to sealing her post Royal position as the people’s princess.
Diana had been followed everywhere by paparazzi since early 1981 when her name was first mentioned in connection with Prince Charles. The media frenzy surrounding her was unlike anything before or since and there were far more contributing factors to her, to my mind, still unsolved demise in that Paris underpass than “There were three people in this marriage”, such as the mother of our future king enjoying an on the rebound jetset lifestyle with Dodi al Fayed.
It may well be that the combination of a predatory paparazzi and a drunk Mercedes driver caused the fatal crash that killed Diana – although I still believe there could be a third reason.
But trying to somehow call the Panorama interview a contributing factor to how the princess was subsequently hounded by the media is a stretch too far.
She was hounded long before Martin Bashir came into the picture.
Leader of the pack
I have been a Wolves supporter for 60 years through good and bad times – most of it bad. For the past four years it has been a different level of good thanks to a manager who made us dare to dream.
When Nuno Espirito Santo was named team boss my first reaction was, “WHO?” We had made some disastrous appointments over the years, not least some guy whose only experience of management was in the Norwegian third division, but it quickly became obvious that Nuno was something very special indeed and before long it was a case of ‘In Nuno we trust’.
The former second choice goalkeeper at Porto not only restored pride to a club that had become a laughing stock, he brought us promotion back to the Premier League followed by two seasons where rather than being a Norwich or West Brom, constantly going up and down like a yo-yo, we were a force to be reckoned with and even reached the last eight in the Europa league.
Long term injuries to some of our best players have made this season a bit of a holding exercise, but we still achieved out third best finish in more than 40 years so I don’t see this campaign as a failure by any means.
But that term “by mutual consent” really concerns me. No club their right mind would sack Nuno, would they?
Nuno achieved what no other Wolves manager had managed to do since the 1950s and the sudden news of his departure is a massive blow made worse by conflicting accounts over whether the decision to go was his or chairman Jeff Shi’s.
The obvious assumption is that Spurs have been sniffing around and with the cash from Harry Kane’s imminent departure Nuno has been told he can bring Jiminez, Netto and maybe even Traore with him, which would surely make us favourites to go down next year.
If it turns out that the greatest Wolves boss in my lifetime was told to go by Shi or someone else at Fosun International and as a consequence we go back to the bad old days, then things are likely to get very ugly indeed.
Stupid TV quiz answers of the week:
Q: Which big cat appears on the brown direction signs for safari parks.
Q: Which part of the body follows “big” to mean a round of applause?