Bashir on the beach: The Crown's latest addition films first scenes

Bashir on the beach: The Crown’s latest addition films first scenes – in rogue reporter’s signature specs

  • Actor playing disgraced former BBC journalist Martin Bashir seen in character
  • Prasanna Puwanarajah, 40, was filming scenes for the Netflix drama The Crown
  •  He was dressed in blue jeans, a black leather jacket and glasses like Mr Bashir

Bearing a striking resemblance to Martin Bashir, the actor playing the disgraced former BBC journalist in The Crown has been pictured in character for the first time.

Prasanna Puwanarajah, 40, was filming scenes for the Netflix drama that recreate the time of Bashir’s deceitfully arranged Panorama interview with Princess Diana in 1995.

Dressed in blue jeans, a black leather jacket and glasses similar to those worn by the journalist, he appeared alongside Nicholas Gleaves, playing former BBC director general John Birt, and Michael Jibson, as ex-Panorama editor Steve Hewlett.

They were shooting scenes on a beach in Eastbourne depicting how the trio took the film of Bashir’s interview to a hotel in the East Sussex resort to secretly edit it away from the BBC’s headquarters in London.

Prasanna Puwanarajah, 40, (left) dressed in blue jeans, a black leather jacket and glasses similar to those worn by the journalist, appeared alongside Nicholas Gleaves, playing former BBC director general John Birt (centre), and Michael Jibson, as ex-Panorama editor Steve Hewlett (right)


Puwanarajah (left) was filming scenes for the Netflix drama that recreate the time of Bashir’s deceitfully arranged Panorama interview with Princess Diana in 1995. Martin Bashir was a rogue BBC reporter (right)

In May an independent inquiry found Bashir had used ‘deceitful behaviour’ by producing fake documents to help secure his interview with Diana.

The scenes being filmed last week were for series five of The Crown, out in November next year.

In another scandal involving Bashir, The Mail on Sunday reported yesterday that the mother of a murdered schoolgirl whose clothes he lost has dismissed his apology for doing so as ‘utter nonsense’.

It has taken nearly 20 years for the shamed journalist, who quit as BBC religion editor in May, to admit what happened.

Karen Hadaway, nine, was murdered with Nicola Fellows, also nine, in Brighton in 1986 in the ‘Babes in the Wood’ killings. Bashir took the clothes from Karen’s mother in 1991, claiming he would have them analysed to help crack the long-unsolved case.

But they were never returned and he maintained he could not recall anything about them.

Now it has emerged that last month BBC director general Tim Davie arranged for a letter to be sent from Bashir to Miss Hadaway. In it, he said he was ‘deeply sorry’ and it was ‘a matter of deep regret’ that the loss of the clothes must have compounded her suffering.

Miss Hadaway said Bashir’s long overdue apology was ‘too little, too late’ and the family had been ‘let down by everyone’. She is considering suing the broadcaster.

Roofer Russell Bishop was eventually convicted of the double murder in 2018.

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