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KCL to Remove Martin Bashir from Wall of Notable Alumni

KCL Martin Bashir

King’s College London (KCL) plans to remove an image of Martin Bashir from its “Wall of Fame” on Strand Campus in the aftermath of a report detailing Mr Bashir’s journalistic misconduct.

A KCL spokesperson told Roar: “At King’s, we take pride in our Strand windows display of notable alumni as a way of celebrating their individual achievements with our students, staff and the public. We continuously refresh the windows to ensure they are up to date.    

“Having recently reviewed our windows, we have agreed that in light of the recent information that has emerged from the investigation into the actions taken earlier in Martin Bashir’s career, it would no longer be appropriate to include his profile in our display.”

Mr Bashir’s plate on the so-called “Wall of Fame” is positioned between those of musician Kele Okereke and novelist Hanif Kureishi. Its description, below the leading caption “Interviewed Diana, Princess of Wales”, reads: “Martin Bashir studied religious history as a postgraduate student at King’s College London. He is a high-profile television journalist who came to prominence for his interviews with Diana, Princess of Wales (in 1995) and Michael Jackson (in 2003).” The former interview was originally viewed by an estimated 23 million people, a seminal moment in Mr Bashir’s career.

The university has also updated its “Notable Alumni” webpage, removing a headline photograph featuring Mr Bashir. The original image was featured until at least June 3, and was replaced sometime thereafter. The page itself, listing 34 famous King’s alumni, neither mentions nor features Mr Bashir.

Martin Bashir KCL alumni

Above, the version of KCL’s “Notable Alumni” page on June 3, 2021. Below, the same page as it appeared June 6.

This news follows a May 20 report by Lord Dyson into the circumstances surrounding Mr Bashir’s lauded interview with Princess Diana. The report, commissioned by the BBC in November 2020, found that Mr Bashir “deceived and induced” Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s younger brother, into arranging the interview. This, alongside 37 other “lies”, constituted what Lord Dyson describes as a “serious breach” of the BBC’s guidelines.

BBC Director-General Tim Davie issued an apology on the behalf of the network, stating: “The BBC should have made greater effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the time and been more transparent about what it knew. While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology.” Mr Bashir resigned from his position as the BBC’s religion editor on May 14, citing “ongoing issues” with his health. Celebrity Talent International, a site previously listing individual speaking engagements by Mr Bashir at $25,000 each, recently removed his profile.

In a statement to the Sunday Times on May 22, Mr Bashir told reporters: “I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don’t believe we did. Everything we did in terms of the interview was as she wanted, from when she wanted to alert the palace, to when it was broadcast, to its contents … My family and I loved her.”

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