Alan Yentob is to step down as BBC Creative Director saying that speculation about his role with failed charity Kids Company “and the media coverage revolving around my role is proving a serious distraction”.
The Jewish TV producer has stood down, saying 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.
He continues: “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.”
Born to an Iraqi Jewish family in London, Yentob is the second high profile Jewish BBC Executive to step down, following the resignation of Danny Cohen, former BBC Director, in October.
Yentob joined the BBC in 1968.
Tony Hall, General Director at the BBC 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.”