Alan Yentob quits £183,000-a-year BBC creative director role following Kids Company storm

Lynsey Barber
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Kids Company Chief Executive Gives Evidence To Select Committee
Yentob recently faced an MP grilling (Source: Getty)

BBC stalwart Alan Yentob has stepped down from his creative director role following revelations about his involvement with the now defunct charity Kids Company.

In a statement he said:

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 fulfills the great expectations we all have of it.

BBC-lifer Yentob, who joined in 1968, was chairman of Kids Company, which spectacularly collapsed over the summer after accusations of financial mismanagement. Yentob and Camila Batmanghelidjh, the charity's founder and chief executive, have denied the accusations.

Yentob recently faced MPs over the charity's collapse and was forced to defend claims that he used his position in the BBC to influence coverage of Kids Company.

"For the record, BBC News considered whether Alan Yentob had influenced the BBC’s journalism on the reporting of Kids Company," BBC director general Tony Hall said of Yentob's resignation.

"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."

Yentob will continue to make arts show Imagine for the BBC, and as chairman of BBC Films. It's understood the £183,000-a-year role of creative director will not be replaced at a time when the BBC faces having to make millions of pounds of savings and has already made cuts to programming and staff.

The Beeb is also in the midst of negotiating a renewal of its royal charter with the government. Yentob had been closely involved with charter renewal talks along with other senior BBC executives, which have been led by Hall and director of strategy James Purnell.

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