Alan Yentob hits back at rumoured falling BBC viewing figures as he talks ‘truth’

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TV presenter Alan Yentob, 73, blasted rumours that the BBC’s viewership is in decline, noting that it’s been doing “incredibly” well. While the former executive revealed impressive program requests for BBC iPlayer, he added that there are some points they may need to focus on in the future to maintain their viewership of all ages.

We do need to learn some lessons about the future

Alan Yentob

In a recent interview, Yentob discussed the claims but wanted to share the “truth” about what was really going on.

“There are stories that fewer people are watching the BBC than used to,” he said.

“But in truth, the BBC is still incredibly well watched and listened to and often in new ways.”

He continued: “In the month of May last year, BBC iPlayer attracted some 570 million programme requests.

“However, we do need to learn some lessons about the future.”

The 73-year-old pointed out that they face the issue of attracting and keeping younger generation interested as opposed to them choosing other sources of news, such as social media.

“One of the issues we face is how to engage the younger generations without ignoring those who already cherish the BBC,” he explained.

“We are living in a science-fiction world where everything is changing, driven by the internet and new ways of looking at screens.

“With a device resting on your lap, or in your hand, you can potentially gain access to all the learning in the world.”

He added: “You can also create stories and then pass them on to other people.”

Yentob suggested some ways that the BBC could begin to target specific demographics, urging them to go down the root of social media type behaviour.

“In some ways, YouTube is a sort of playground where new talent can emerge,” he described to Radio Times.

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Yentob’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times [RADIO TIMES]

“The BBC, increasingly, has to make sure that it’s also a playground where young people can come for modest sums of money to try out things and experiment.

“It also needs to behave a little more like Instagram or Twitter in the way that those platforms reward curiosity with unlikely connections and then take you on a journey.

“The way they say, ‘I know you love this, but did you know how great this is?'”

The presenter, who has been involved at the company since he was 20-years-old, insisted that the BBC “has some of the answers” when it comes to cultural archives, something be believes will benefit those of all ages so the broadcaster can thrive alongside its loyal viewership.

Yentob’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.

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