Yentob had been accused of interfering with the BBC’s coverage of the collapse of Kids Company amid a stream of negative press as the BBC lobbies for a favourable Charter review.
Announcing he was stepping down this morning, he said the furore around Kids Company was proving a ‘distraction’ at a ‘challenging’ time for the UK pubcaster.
Yentob 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 ofthis year and focus on programme making and TV production.”
Yentob will contimue to make arts series Imagine for BBC One as well as working with the BBC Films team.
Yentob added: “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.”
Hall also addressed the accusation that Yentob had unduly influenced the BBC news 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. They concluded that he did not. Despite that, I understand his reasons for stepping down as Creative Director.”
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