Alan Yentob has resigned as the BBC’s Creative Director, citing media coverage surrounding his involvement with the scandal-embroiled Kids Company as a ‘serious distraction’.
Yentob was chairman of trustees at the children’s charity from 2003 until its collapse in August, and has faced scrutiny over his role as well as claims that he tried to influence the beeb’s coverage of its folding.
“The BBC is going through particularly challenging times and I have come to believe that the speculation about Kids Company and the media coverage revolving around my role is proving a serious distraction.
“So I have spoken to Tony Hall and told him that I think it best that I step down from my senior management role as Creative Director at the end of this year and focus on programme making and TV production – including of course the Imagine series. I will also continue supporting Christine Langan and her team as Chairman of BBC Films.
“I love the BBC and will continue to do everything I can to ensure that it thrives and fulfils the great expectations we all have of it.” – Alan Yentob
The BBC’s Director General, Tony Hall, added: “Alan is a towering figure in television, the arts, and a creative force for good for Britain. He has served the BBC with distinction in a number of different executive roles – all of which have been characterised by his energy, creativity and commitment to public service. He has an extraordinary roll-call of achievement.
“For the record, BBC News considered whether Alan Yentob had influenced the BBC’s journalism on the reporting of Kids Company. They concluded that he did not. Despite that, I understand his reasons for stepping down as Creative Director. He has been thinking about this carefully for some time and we have discussed it privately on a number of occasions.
“I am pleased that Alan will be continuing his brilliant work as a programme maker at the BBC in the future.”
Yentob has held the post of Creative Director since 2004, with the beeb disclosing that he received a sum of £183,300 per year for the role. He is paid a separate fee for any programming he fronts for the corporation including Imagine.
The BBC note that he will not receive a pay-off for relinquishing his Creative Director role and that he will retain his unpaid role as chairman of BBC Films.