Disgraced Diana interviewer Martin Bashir raised eyebrows when it emerged he was still pocketing £2,000 a week from the BBC despite being suspended from the corporation.
I can now disclose he also paid himself and his wife hefty bonuses of more than £50,000 even as details of his underhand techniques were exposed.
Newly published accounts for his company, Panoramic Productions Limited — which he set up the year of the ‘bombshell’ Panorama interview with Princess Diana in 1995 — reveal he set aside £34,000 last year and £20,000 this year in bonuses.
Disgraced Diana interviewer Martin Bashir (pictured in 1995) raised eyebrows when it emerged he was still pocketing £2,000 a week from the BBC despite being suspended
The money is in addition to his £100,000 BBC salary which he was still being paid while suspended and an investigation was carried out into how he obtained the interview with Diana.
Watched by 23 million, Diana told Bashir ‘there were three people in the marriage’ — referring to Prince Charles’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.
Panoramic Productions channelled money from other TV work and speaking engagements and Bashir, 58, who is a director and shareholder with his nursing sister wife Deborah, 62, signed off the documents in May.
But they have only now been published and cover the year ending January 2021.
It is also apparent that Bashir — once a popular figure on the lucrative speaking circuit who could command around £15,000 a time — has seen his work dry up significantly as earnings have plummeted.
Last year he had £209,994 in assets and paid more than £51,000 in tax, but now the firm has only £112,727 in assets — and he paid just £1,680 in income tax and social security payments.
Bashir (pictured in November 2019) also paid himself and his wife hefty bonuses of more than £50,000 even as details of his underhand techniques were exposed
Diana told Bashir in the famous 1995 interview ‘there were three people in the marriage’ – referring to Prince Charles’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles (both pictured)
The controversial journalist, who lives in a £1.7million, six-bedroom home in Hampshire, quit his job as BBC Religion editor shortly before the findings of an inquiry into his Diana interview methods were made public.
Lord Dyson led the inquiry which found Bashir breached BBC rules by having false bank statements made to suggest those close to Diana were selling information.
He showed them to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, as part of a bid to win her confidence for the interview which rocked the Royal Family.
AIKENS GOES FROM THRILLS TO FILLS
Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens was accused of having ‘the most pretentious restaurant in Britain’ when he opened Muse in London in 2019.
The criticism — from the Mail’s Jan Moir — appears to have inspired an overhaul ahead of its summer re-opening.
Aikens, 51, was mocked for his storybook-style menu which featured anecdotes about his childhood, and dishes including half a langoustine on a stick.
Now I hear he’s introducing classic comfort food at the Belgravia restaurant including fried chicken and a Solero-style ice lolly.
Eton Mess is also on the menu, with Aikens declaring: ‘Gone are the days of leaving a fine dining restaurant feeling hungry.’
THAT’S J.LO CUT! JADE CHANNELS HER INNER LOPEZ
Fashion designer Jade Holland Cooper, whose eponymous equestrian-style label is loved by the Duchess of Cambridge, is taking personal inspiration from an unlikely figure.
At Lady Kitty Spencer’s wedding in Rome, the 34-year-old wife of Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton, 56, channelled U.S. pop star Jennifer Lopez.
Fashion designer Jade Holland Cooper (left), whose eponymous equestrian-style label is loved by the Duchess of Cambridge, is taking personal inspiration from J.Lo (right)
She wore a green jungle-print Versace dress bearing a striking resemblance to the £10,000 gown — by the same designer — that J.Lo wore to the Grammy Awards 21 years ago.
Jade’s, however, comes with a slightly heftier price tag of £14,752. ‘This spectacular dress is especially important to me as I treated myself to this when I found out I was pregnant,’ says Jade, referring to her eight-month-old daughter, Saphaia, whom she has been raising at her £50 million house in the Cotswolds.
‘To wear it here in Rome has been just amazing.’
Bread is no laughing matter for Rob Brydon.
The Gavin And Stacey star claims he can no longer digest yeast — a common ingredient in delicious baked goods.
‘I went to a naturopath and he looked at my diet, and we found that I’d had so many antibiotics as a teenager — they used to give them to you freely in those days — that it affected how I processed things in my gut,’ explains Brydon.
‘So yeast was no good and I’d end up with spots. I avoid it now. I used to be quite self-conscious talking about my skin. As I’ve got older, I mention it quite often because I think there could be somebody [it helps].’
IVF? GIVE NATALIE A CALL…
Fancy Natalie Imbruglia’s phone number? The singer and actress admits she’s been giving hers out freely.
The 46-year-old is single, but rather than looking for a date she’s trying to help women considering IVF — a fertility treatment she underwent to get pregnant with son, Max, using a sperm donor in 2019.
Natalie Imbruglia (pictured in June 2015) is trying to help women considering IVF — a fertility treatment she underwent to get pregnant with son, Max, using a sperm donor in 2019
Natalie, who lives in London, says: ‘If I meet strangers at a dinner party and they’re talking about wanting to do IVF, I give them my number and say ‘ask me anything’, because it would have been really nice to have that. And these women well up because there’s some kind of weird taboo around it.’
Beware of complimenting Cindy Crawford.
‘I hate when people say: ‘You look great for your age,’ ‘ moans the supermodel, 55.
‘I’m like, you could have just left out the ‘for your age’ bit. We all know how old I am. Just say I look great.’
Love Actually director Richard Curtis and his partner, broadcaster Emma Freud, have been going wild at their home in Suffolk.
‘We have managed to acquire 13 new pets in lockdown,’ says mother-of-four Freud, 59.
‘I just snuck them in when nobody was looking. We already had cats, a dog and a tortoise. Now we have added six chickens, a rabbit, five baby ducks all called Duckface and a hedgehog called Prickly McPrickface.’
CINDERS BACK WITH A BANG?
Georgina Castle (pictured), who plays a step-sister in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cinderella, reveals she’s prone to accidents on stage
Devastated when the opening of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Cinderella, was postponed due to Covid, at least Georgina Castle won’t be hard-pressed to find a silver lining.
The 28-year-old daughter of Wimbledon commentator Andrew Castle, who plays a step-sister, reveals she’s prone to accidents on stage.
‘I’ve chipped my front teeth, partially amputated a toe and done the first 15 minutes of Mamma Mia! with my skirt tucked into my knickers,’ she says.
Cinderella opens next month, and she adds: ‘God knows what this will bring with a revolving stage but I look forward to finding out.’
Don’t tell her to break a leg.