Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people's lives. As the national development agency for the arts, we support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, carnival to crafts.

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Advisory Board

Alan Yentob

Creative Director, BBC

Portrait of Alan Yentob

Alan Yentob is the Creative Director of the BBC and Editor and Presenter of the Imagine programme.

A celebrated and award-winning programme maker, Alan quickly came to personify the creative spirit of the BBC. He joined as a general trainee in 1968, taking his first job in the World Service.

From 1973 to 1975 he was a producer/director with Omnibus, where his films famously included Cracked Actor with David Bowie.

In 1978 he created the mould-breaking arts series Arena, and was Editor until 1985.  During this time Arena produced influential programmes including The Private Life of the Ford Cortina and My Way.

In 1985 he became Head of Music and Arts and stayed in the post until 1988 when he was appointed Controller of BBC Two. Under Alan’s five year stewardship BBC Two was revitalised and introduced many innovations in programming including The Late Show, Have I Got News For You, Absolutely Fabulous and Wallace and Gromit’s The Wrong Trousers.

He was appointed Controller of BBC One in 1993, significantly improving its content and share.

He became Director of Programmes in 1997, then Director of Television in 1998.  In June 2004 he became the BBC’s Creative Director.

His outside responsibilities include the Chairmanship of the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the charity Kids Company.

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