Media Medium
9 July 2001


True Grit

Rupert Gavin, the BBC Worldwide chief, has a horoscope full
of persuasive Libran charm but its strength comes from a
gritty combination of planets in Scorpio and Capricorn

Libran Rupert Gavin has to balance contradictory demands in his zodiac Scales, and he just can't win. As boss of BBC Worldwide, the Corporation's commercial arm, if he doesn't make money his job is on the line. And when he does, the BBC's public service role comes under fire and he catches flak for exploiting an unfair commercial advantage.

Under Gavin, BBC Worldwide has turned over an impressive income, ploughed back into programme making. It has had big success with the multi-media branding of children's programmes - Tweenies and Bob the Builder - and with hits like The Weakest Link. Gavin could sell coals to Newcastle or Ann Robinson to the Welsh. His horoscope (October 1 1954) shows all the persuasive powers of Libran charm and plausibility, but behind the amenable facade, its strength comes from a gritty combination of planets in Scorpio and Capricorn. These ambitious placings suggest a sharp grasp of the psychology of selling, backed up by hard work, research and analysis. He makes it look easy but he is ruthlessly efficient and manipulative, with a superb sense of strategic timing. Coupled with his sugary Libran charm, he knows exactly how to coat the pill, but his Saturn in Scorpio has a sting in its tail:

" These people desire authority and will struggle hard to attain their ambitions ... a tendency to scheme and plot ... they harbour deep resentment when they feel they have been dealt with unjustly .. a desire for revenge and an inability to forget past emotional injuries may also be present." (Sakoian & Acker, Astrologers Handbook).

Is this Scorpionic side now entangled at the Beeb? Worldwide's operations have been under review for months and rumours persist of a clash between Gavin and his boss. Controller Greg Dyke wants the public service and programming element of the BBC to have more say in its commercial development, and is keen to trim Worldwide's overheads, but this encroaches on Gavin's territory.

When we compare their horoscopes, the planetary culprits are Dyke's watery Neptune, placed on Gavin's Sun. In mythology, Neptune is a bad-tempered god because he has been banished to the sea, and he constantly seeks to get a foothold on territory that doesn't belong to him. From Gavin's point of view, Dyke's meddling comes across as a Neptunian fog of confused goals. Despite his attempts to burn off the mist and shine through, he simply cannot win if his Taurean boss digs in for a different strategy. Stubborn Bulls never give up.

It's just as well for Gavin, then, that he is highly poachable. Carlton is rumoured to have had its eye on him all year, so will he go? Despite a strong and positive connection of his Libran Sun to the BBC's incorporation horoscope (January 1 1927), he has probably done all he can do - or wants to do - at BBC Worldwide. Like all Librans, he is always weighing up pros and cons, mulling over options, and he could up stumps at any time. In May his Jupiter changed direction and events since then have firmed up the resolve that is likely to propel him out of the BBC. If he senses that the timing isn't quite right yet, he could easily sit on his Libran fence until his new Jupiter cycle in July 2002. This brings the start of a five year period of dynamic activity which could see him as a seriously bigger player on the international stage. The best of Rupert Gavin is yet to come. Can Dyke really afford to lose him?

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