Media Medium
5 February 2002

TIM GARDAM

The big bang

Capricorn Tim Gardam's astrological chart puts him on a dangerous
collision course with his new boss at Channel 4

It is a well-known astrological fact that when a Capricorn makes a move, there is almost always an ulterior motive lurking beneath the surface. As head of programmes at Channel 4, Capricorn Tim Gardam's criticism of BBC3 not only reverses Channel 4 policy, it also comes just a month before the arrival of Mark Thompson as C4's new chief executive - the same Mark Thompson who was involved in promoting BBC3 during his time at the Beeb. So eyebrows have been raised now that Gardam and David Scott, acting chief executive at Channel 4, are challenging the BBC3 proposals.

Ambitious Capricorns are usually highly cautious about their political strategy, but Gardam (January 14 1956) has a strong streak of independent-minded Aquarius, with a brilliant intellectual combination of the Moon and Mercury in this sign. Supremely self-assured, this is a man who could easily live in his head, driven by principles and the pure IDEA of a thing. With a lack of empathetic water in his horoscope, he probably doesn't register the upset feelings and hurt pride he can leave in his wake. His Venus, planet of relationships, is opposed by ruthless Pluto, which gives "a tendency to totally dominate the person with whom one is involved ... the opposition can give very violent relationships which end suddenly and with great finality" (Alan Oken, The Complete Astrologer).

The spotlight in 2002 falls on this volatile opposition as defiant, rock-the-boat Uranus crosses over it in March, bang on cue with the arrival of Thompson at Channel 4. There has already been a denial of the rumour that the two men don't hit it off, but as a big boss Leo with a swash-buckling Mars, Thompson is not likely to be well pleased by displays of Aquarian independence from underlings. The astrology points to a real danger of factions and splits, with each man gathering a loyal coterie around him. Like Gardam, Thompson lacks water, so neither man tolerates fools, and both take no prisoners. To get along, hot- hearted Leo and cool-headed Capricorn have to accept each other's different styles, which may not be easy to do with bloody-minded Uranus strongly involved in both horoscopes now. There is a high risk of a parting of the ways well before the year is through.

Some suggest Gardam's real goal is a return to the BBC. This Capricorn organisation suits him better than Channel 4, which he has little astrological connection with, but in the longer term, perhaps neither is quite right for him. The most remarkable factor in his horoscope is that five out of his ten planets are placed at zero degrees of their signs. This, coupled with his individualistic Aquarian nature, suggests he needs to start at zero, to be in on a new venture right from the beginning, setting the parameters as he envisions them. The time for this probably won't be until 2004, with success not coming until 2006. Until then, he would be wise to practice some time-serving, knee- bending Capricorn skills, and to keep those ulterior motives well-hidden.

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