Diana: Last Days of a Princess

What and who are the song and singer associated with the ad for this documentary? Anyone know?

diana: last days of a princess
interview with patrick baladi

Patrick Baladi admits he had some reservations about playing Dodi Al Fayed in Five’s dramadocumentary ‘Diana: The Last Days of a Princess’. “My instant reaction was: ‘oh dear, this is going to be just another sensationalist Diana drama covering the same old ground and I want no part of it,’” he says. “But, after a while, I looked at the project again, realised the people behind it were going to be making a responsible, well-researched drama documentary and said yes to it.”

‘Last Days of a Princess’ is as much about Dodi and his relationship with Diana, as it is about the princess herself –and Patrick hopes to shed a little light on the man he plays. “I didn’t know much about Dodi and I don’t think the general public as a whole did,” he says. “He wasn’t in the public eye in the way Diana was –at least not until he became involved with Diana –and finding out about him was difficult. There’s very little footage of him and, to an extent, even the voice was educated guesswork. I’ve gone for an Italian/Arab accent and I hope it’s accurate!

“I also hope I’ve brought some humanity to the role –some kind of understanding of Dodi. I have Arab blood –my father was born in Syria –so hopefully I can bring a certain amount of sensibility towards the Arab way of thinking.

“But I do feel very sorry for Dodi. The accident in Paris, on August 31 1997, claimed the lives of three people, yet we really only grieved for one of them. This film will hopefully remind people that two men –including Dodi –were killed too.”

The crash itself does not feature in the film, only the journey from The Ritz Hotel in Paris into the start of the now infamous Pont de L’Alma road tunnel. But filming the journey was, admits Patrick, an unnerving experience. “We were in Paris at night, on roads that had been closed to the general public, recreating a very famous and tragic journey,” says Patrick.

“I know I was, and I’m pretty sure the whole cast and crew felt affected by what they were doing. I found the experience sad, disturbing, weird –and a little eerie. But what we were recreating was an accident and, in my view, nothing more than that. Dodi and Diana were simply victims of a terrible road crash –regardless of what the conspiracy theorists might tell you!”

Patrick Baladi’s film and television appearances include ‘Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason’, ‘Bodies’ and ‘Party Animals’, though he is perhaps best-known for playing the role of Neil Godwin –David Brent’s suave boss in ‘The Office’.

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