After months of allegations about the management and finances of the now-defunct children’s charity, Kids Company, its former chairman Alan Yentob has resigned from the BBC.
He is standing down from his position as the BBC’s Creative Director, which he has held since 2004, following intense media and parliamentary scrutiny of his role in the financial mismanagement of the charity.
Here is his 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 commented:
“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.”
In October, Yentob appeared with the charity’s founder Camila Batmanghelidjh before parliament’s Public Administration Select Committee. It was an embarrassing hearing, in which he admitted to communicating with BBC journalists covering Kids Company’s collapse, and was unable to explain missing client data. Read my report of the hearing here.