Princess Diana interview: BBC created 'culture of fear' to stop staff speaking out, ex-Panorama producer tells ITV News

Former Panorama producer Mark Killick says the BBC created a "culture of fear" to stop staff speaking out against bad journalism practice, after the Lord Dyson report found Martin Bashir committed a “serious breach” of guidelines in relation to the Princess Diana interview.

In his first TV interview since the report was published, Mr Killick told ITV News' Chris Ship the revelations are equivalent to the News of the World's phone hacking scandal, which resulted in the paper being closed down.

“I think one of the things BBC management did with their incompetent investigation and their attack on the Panorama staff that brought this to light was to send a message to the whole of the BBC that you can’t speak truth to power in certain instances, if you do, you’ll lose your job," Mr Killick told ITV News.

"And I think that culture of fear echoed for many years after. It’s been a long time but I think if Tim Davie decides to reinforce the message that you now can tell the BBC things they don’t want to hear and you won’t lose your job, that will be a very positive outcome."

Mr Bashir had fake bank statements mocked up in order to gain access to Princess Diana, with Lord Dyson describing his behaviour as "deceitful".

“It seems to me, this is the BBC’s phone hacking moment," Mr Killick said.

"With phone hacking, the issue was how the story was obtained, not the story itself - and it’s the same here.

"What is interesting is that the BBC decided to shoot the messenger, run a smear campaign, then cover up the story. Rupert Murdoch, to his credit, closed the News of the World.

"It’s a strange day when the News of the World/Rupert Murdoch ethics actually trump those of the licence fee-funded BBC."

People lost their jobs after raising concerns in relation to journalism practices going on at the time.

Mr Killick is among those considering legal action against the BBC, due to the nature of their departure from the organisation.“A generic apology certainly isn’t enough, but I think it’s a great place to start for the BBC," Mr Killick said.

"I think they have to look at the all the people who have been damaged and apologise to them individually.

"More than that, I think legal recourse; they destroyed their careers, they lost their jobs.

"Me, personally, I am taking legal advice and will decide forthwith."