Alan Yentob recalls funnier times at the Beeb
THE BBC has not had much to laugh about of late, and Alan Yentob himself has been the object of recent criticism — more of that later.
But Mr Yentob, its creative director, was this week quick to reminisce about funnier times at the Beeb — notably the amusing incident that landed him his first job.
Speaking at a London Jewish Cultural Centre event last Tuesday, Mr Yentob explained: “When filling in the application form for the BBC traineeship in 1968, one of the questions asked was why I merited being chosen. I wrote that, aged eight, I had played one of the wives in [Shakespeare’s] The Merry Wives of Windsor and had been told by one of my contemporaries that I had ‘great legs for showbiz’.” He tells People: “The application form I wrote was very facetious. Clearly the BBC has a sense of humour.”
He acknowledges that it is “a tricky time for television. Things are moving very rapidly. There are decisions and choices to be made, which will affect the BBC and the people working there.”
Mr Yentob was recently accused of misleading viewers about being present at interviews for his Imagine series when he was not. Attention was focused on “noddy shots” show- ing him nodding. But he says: “The whole thing has been misinterpreted. I looked into it and discovered I never did it.” Still, despite recent pressure, he is “enjoying things enormously”.