We are not amused - BBC sacked by Queen

BBC memos released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed that senior figures in the BBC were convinced that the loss of its exclusive rights to the Queen's Christmas broadcast was directly linked to Martin Bashir's interview with Princess Diana in 1995.

The BBC had sole responsibility for producing the Queen's Christmas message up until 1996. But shortly after the broadcast of the Panorama interview Buckingham Palace announced that ITV would be producing the 1997 and 1998 broadcasts.

A memo to Will Wyatt, the Chief Executive of BBC Broadcast, from Philip Gilbert, Head of Events, dated January 10, 1997, states: "It is widely perceived that the BBC is in effect being penalised because of the Princess of Wales' Panorama interview and thus we do not give up our responsibility for the broadcast voluntarily but have to a degree been 'sacked'."

Queen sacked us over Diana interview, says BBC (Sunday Telegraph, 29 January 2006)