He won global renown for his TV interview with Princess Diana — and documentary about Michael Jackson, whom he filmed at his Neverland ranch.
But Martin Bashir’s next telly appearance promises to be more emotionally charged than anything he’s yet attempted.
His decision to star in tomorrow’s The X Factor: Celebrity is inspired by the memory of his older brother Tommy, who succumbed to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in 1991 aged only 29.
Martin Bashir’s decision to star in tomorrow’s The X Factor: Celebrity is inspired by the memory of his older brother Tommy
Bashir, 56, a devout Christian, says that he could hear Tommy telling him that he had ‘no excuse’ not to sign up to the singing talent show.
‘The real reason why I’m here is that I am one of five children and my precious brother Tommy was born with muscular dystrophy,’ Bashir, who is patron of Action Duchenne, which promotes awareness, raises funds and offers support for those affected by DMD, explains.
‘When you grow up with a child and you fight over toys and you’re aged four and he never fights back and then by the time he is 13 he can’t feed himself, you feel that you have no excuse for turning down opportunities.
‘Every time I have faced a challenge, I have heard him whispering, saying: “What excuse do you have?
‘”You have no excuse, you have never sung but someone has come to you and said give it a shot,” and that is my motivation.
The journalist won global renown for his TV interview with Princess Diana (pictured) — and documentary about Michael Jackson, whom he filmed at his Neverland ranch
‘When he died I didn’t speak about it for about seven years.
‘It was only in 1997 when I sat down one evening and wrote a piece about it for a newspaper that was published.
‘I think the other thing is that my mum is still alive, she’s 80, and for her obviously the loss was enormous, but she also knows because I was the main carer for my brother as a child that he was incredibly influential.’
Prince Charles’s divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton admits she’s struggling to keep up with the times. ‘I’m the opposite of woke,’ she tells me.
‘I said that in a meeting the other day and somebody turned to me and said: “What’s the opposite of woke?” I said, “Well, woke backwards is ekow,” and they said, “Fiona, you’re not a cow” And I said, well, I’m more that than woke.’
John Humphrys regrets not interviewing the Queen
One of former Today presenter John Humphrys’s few regrets is he never got to interview the Queen.
‘I have certainly wanted to sit there on a Monday morning and say, “With me this morning is Her Majesty the Queen.”
‘She is unique and has probably met more powerful people in her life than anyone else on the planet,’ he says.
‘And there is the gossip, isn’t there? I very nearly got that interview. I had a message on my answerphone saying: “Her Majesty has commanded me to invite you to a private lunch.”
‘I go walking through Buck House with the guy who has been sent to welcome me.
‘I said to him: “I feel slightly nervous. I didn’t realise people like me were invited to these sorts of things.” And he said: “No sir, neither did I.”‘
I’m the real deal, says scrummy singer Camilla
Scrummy soprano Camilla Kerslake, wife of former England rugby captain Chris Robshaw, turned heads when she attended the Attitude magazine awards in North London this week.
Camilla Kerslake turned heads when she attended the Attitude magazine awards in North London this week
The 31-year-old left little to the imagination as she sported a semi-sheer Gyunel couture dress, featuring a gold-sequinned embellishment on the front, tapering off at the zigzag skirt line to reveal a glimpse of her underwear.
‘Whenever I get my boobs out they always seem to spark raging debates about whether they’re real or not,’ she has declared. ‘I can tell you, they are completely natural.’
The Who’s bass guitarist John ‘The Ox’ Entwistle, who died from a cocaine-induced heart attack in a Las Vegas hotel room, will have the final word on his warring bandmates from beyond the grave.
An authorised biography of the rocker will include material from the three full chapters of a proposed memoir that Entwistle managed to complete before the fateful trip, according to publishers Little, Brown.
The ‘quiet one’ guarded his secrets well — Pete Townshend only found out his bandmate was a lifelong Freemason from the funeral eulogy.
Princess Eugenie’s cameo role on Sienna’s big night
Sienna Miller was praised by her friend Princess Eugenie at a private screening of her new film, American Woman, this week.
The Duke of York’s 29-year-old daughter was among guests at the Curzon Bloomsbury cinema, where she commended the actress, 37, on her latest role.
Sienna Miller was praised by her friend Princess Eugenie at a private screening of her new film
‘I thought it was one of Sienna’s greatest performances and I’m very proud of her and what she created in the film,’ Eugenie told me.
‘It’s such a joy to watch great performances and to also be taken on a journey like we were. The story is so beautiful, compelling and wonderful.’
Sienna, who plays a woman whose daughter goes missing, was joined by her boyfriend, writer Lucas Zwirner, 28, and socialite Lady Mary Charteris.
Warwick Davis, who stands a proud 3ft 5in, wants more dwarf diversity on screen. ‘There aren’t many dwarf actors on TV and I would like to see more,’ he told me at the premiere of his film Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
‘Certainly there is a place for more diversity in the movie and TV industry for performers of all differences but we’ll see. I think roads are opening up and progress is being made, but there’s a long way to go.’