Alan Yen­tob re­calls fun­nier times at the Beeb

The Jewish Chronicle - - PEOPLE -

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”.

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