Five alive and well
Channel 5's incorporation (January 17 1996) shows an ambitious
Capricorn with excellent money-making possibilities, especially
through a soft-porn Venus-Pluto combination in its cash zone. Its
Spice Girls launch (6.00pm, March 30 1997) flaunts a bunch of
planets in crude, simple-minded Aries. With a nude gameshow and
late-night lust, 'Channel Filth' has earned the ire of all right-
thinking people represented by the Daily Mail. Not surprisingly,
it is run by Scorpios, the sign of sex, death and secrets, who
share consecutive birthdates: CEO David Elstein (November 14
1944), and Director of Programmes Dawn Airey (November 15 1960).
Both Scorpio and Aries relish a fight, and with aggressive
Mars rising, C5 has gone for a 'challenger brand' approach to
self-promotion, deliberately rocking the status quo. Dawn Airey
says the channel has 'excellence and depth', but she sees its
niche, in her own words, as 'films, fucking and football',
'bosoms, balls and brutality'.
So what does this do to the battle between the channels? The
astrology shows an intriguing game being played out here.
Lorraine Heggessey (November 16 1956), the new BBC1 controller,
is another Scorpio with a powerful sting, and look at these
birthdates: Elstein November 14, Airey November 15, Heggessey
November 16. Within a couple of degrees, all three share the same
Scorpio sun. This, and other connections between the horoscopes,
especially involving Mars, indicate that Channel 5 has
successfully defined the territory over which the BBC and the
larger channels have to fight.
Its strategy indicates the way their war will go. Monica
Lewinsky (July 23 1973), that notable political commentator, is
to be Channel 5's presenter for its US election coverage. As a
dramatic Leo with a ballsy Mars-Uranus across the Channel 5
horizon, she is a provocative choice. In the ratings war,
politics, like everything else, is sucked into 'fff and bbb'.