Alan Yentob steps down as BBC creative director after Kids Company role proved 'serious distraction' - Press Gazette

Alan Yentob steps down as BBC creative director after Kids Company role proved 'serious distraction'

Alan Yentob has stepped down as BBC creative director, saying that his role at failed charity Kids Company was a "serious distraction".

But he will continue his work presenting BBC programme Imagine.

Yentob, who was chairman of trustees at the charity, has faced scrutiny over his role as well as claims he tried to influence coverage at the corporation.

He has always said there was no conflict of interest in his decision to call Newsnight about its investigation into Kids Company and said he had not ''abused my position at the BBC''.

The charity folded on 5 August this year.

In his role of BBC creative director, Yentob's salary was £168,300. 

Yentob said in a statement: “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 director general Tony Hall said: “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.”



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