Media Medium
26 January 2001

E4

E's the man

Channel 4 entertainment boss Kevin Lygo has brought E4 into the world
under the influence of corporate Capricorn, narcotic Neptune, Pythonesque
Pluto and plain old bad taste.

Kevin Lygo, head of entertainment for Channel 4 and supremo of its newly launched E4, is playing so coy about his birth data that Media Medium suspects a touch of Cancer or Scorpio. But no matter. His programming genius is stamped all over the horoscope for E4's launch (8:15pm, January 18 2001). As an ambitious, corporate Capricorn, the new digital channel is part of Channel 4's long-term strategy to increase the 'Channel 4 family' and thereby its audience share. It is targeted at the media-aware world of 18-34 year old ABC1s, which is why Aquarius, the sign of alternative culture, is also strongly emphasised. Youthful Mercury, planet of communication, is in Aquarius linked to all three of the outsider planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Druggy Neptune shows through the E name, while Pluto gives the channel on-the-edge Pythonesque humour and style. However, with no fire in the horoscope, E4 could try so hard to be cool that it becomes more clever than inspired.

The greatest weakness in the horoscope, and bringing deserved ill-repute, is a disgustingly bad taste Scorpio Moon coming off the opposition of grungy Saturn. This looks like Banzai, the UK- made spoof Japanese game show, containing such delights as "old lady wheelchair chicken challenge" and "spot the silicone breasts". The horoscope's strengths include a sexy and fun Venus- Mars combination in the emotional water signs of Pisces and Scorpio, giving it a sentimental soapy, love story mix. Think Friends and ER, with the new series of these playing on E4 before C4. To do well, E4 needs to develop new programmes along these lines, and shouldn't totally abandon its conventional, romantic side in favour of off-the-wall shock and cool.

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