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Diana's chauffeur settles slander case with BBC after Panorama leak claim

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PRINCESS Diana’s former chauffeur has settled a High Court slander case against the BBC.

The Corporation has agreed to pay an unspecified sum to Stephen Davies after claiming he leaked information about her before her famous Panorama interview.

Princess Diana's former chauffeur Stephen Davies, left, has settled a High Court slander case against the BBC

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Princess Diana’s former chauffeur Stephen Davies, left, has settled a High Court slander case against the BBCCredit: Alpha Photo Press Agency
The Corporation claimed Mr Davies leaked information about the late Princess of Wales before her 1995 Panorama interview

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The Corporation claimed Mr Davies leaked information about the late Princess of Wales before her 1995 Panorama interviewCredit: PA

He was the Princess of Wales’ chauffeur at the time she spoke to Martin Bashir in November 1995.

Mr Davies was sacked without explanation four months later.

He sued the BBC after a probe revealed a document from a meeting in September 1995 which stated that Diana and her brother Earl Spencer were told by Mr Bashir that the driver “feeds Today newspaper . . . change your chauffeur”.

A spokesman for the BBC said it accepted that the claim in the document “was and is wholly false”.

The BBC managed to pull off a royal coup at the time when veteran Panorama journalist Martin Bashir spoke to Princess Diana in her first solo interview since her marriage to Prince Charles.

Diana was still part of the royal family – but only just, after she and Charles legally separated three years before.

Her scandalous interview was kept a total secret from Buckingham Palace – and within a month of it being broadcast, the Queen wrote to both Diana and Charles personally advising them to divorce.

Dressed in a powerful black suit and white blouse, Diana sat down with Bashir for an hour in what would become one of the most explosive interviews ever conducted.

She dropped a number of bombshells as she opened up about her life as a member of the Royal Family.

A staggering 22.8 million watched it, and it remains one of the highest-rated BBC programmes of all time.

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