- GAVIN BURROWS is interviewed by the BBC’s Amol Rajan
- THE PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR claims that his team targeted Prince Harry’s associates
- THE MOBILE PHONE of Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy was hacked, Burrows states
- THE PROGRAMME has sparked controversy after a Royal backlash
- YESTERDAY, The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William united in a threat to boycott the BBC, according the Mail on Sunday
By Graham Johnson
Editor, Byline Investigates
A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR at the heart of an explosive BBC royal documentary was first uncovered by this news site.
Gavin Burrows appears in the first episode of tonight’s BBC Two programme called ‘The Princes and the Press.’
The veteran private detective reveals how members of his team hacked the phone of Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy, and passed on private information to Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers.
Burrows, 51, claims that he targeted Davy in a bid to find out secrets of the young couples’ relationship when they were dating in the mid-2000s.
The interview is conducted by the BBC’s Media Editor Amol Rajan, who is also a presenter of the flagship Today programme on Radio 4.
However, Byline Investigates was the first news organisation to track Burrows down to his London flat over a year ago, where he admitted to Editor Graham Johnson his involvement in unlawful information gathering.
Burrows told how he had worked for Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers on-and-off for seven years.
Between 2000 and 2007, he stated that he supplied the The Sun and the now defunct News of the World with illegally obtained information.
In addition, ‘hacked and blagged’ data was passed onto paparazzi photographers, who then used it to locate royals and celebrities, so that they could take exclusive pictures for Murdoch’s London-based publishing company, News Group Newspapers.
Burrows is the first private investigator to publicly admit targeting Prince Harry and his associates other than Glenn Mulcaire, the News of the World’s in-house PI.
Glenn Mulcaire’s activities made headlines around the world at the height of the phone hacking scandal a decade ago, which triggered the closure of the News of the World in July 2011.
Mulcaire had been jailed in 2007 after pleading guilty to hacking the phones of Prince Harry’s palace aides for the Sunday tabloid.
He was also convicted for a second time in 2013 for hacking other victims, but has since complained that he was punished for the same crime twice.
Part One of The Princes and the Press is titled ‘The New Generation.’
The blurb, on the BBC’s website, states : ‘Providing context for the princes’ relationship with the media, the film examines some of the illegal activities engaged in by some newspapers in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including hacking and ‘blagging’, and how these techniques were used to target members of the royal family and their associates.’
News Group Newspapers has admitted unlawful activity occurred at the News of the World.
However, the publisher has repeatedly denied in the High Court any wrongdoing at The Sun and does not accept liability in any of the phone-hacking cases, despite settling several ‘Sun-only’ cases.