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Thursday, 3 May, 2001, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
C4 entertainment boss quits for C5
Trigger Happy TV
Trigger Happy TV was one of Lygo's C4 successes
Channel 4's head of entertainment and music, Kevin Lygo, is leaving to work for rival, Channel 5.

Lygo is credited with discovering hit comedies Da Ali G Show, Trigger Happy TV and So Graham Norton in three-and-a-half years at the station.

He was also controller of the new digital entertainment channel E4, which he launched earlier this year.

Kevin has completely revitalised Channel 4 entertainment

Michael Jackson
C4 chief executive
He will become director of programming at Channel 5.

The appointment signals Channel 5's ambition to be taken seriously as an innovative programme-maker and Lygo will be moving into a role with money to spend.

It was recently reported that Channel 5 chief executive Dawn Airey won a 6m boost the 2001 programming budget on top of a 20m increase on 2000's figure.

Mr Lygo said: "This is a marvellous opportunity for me. I am leaving Channel 4 at a high point and I am very excited by this chance to be a part of the growing success story that is Channel 5."

Ms Airey, who was recently promoted from the post of director of programming, said it was a coup for the station, which is four years old.

Keith Chegwin in Channel 5's Naked Jungle
Channel 5 has been criticised for some output, including Keith Chegwin's Naked Jungle
"Kevin Lygo is an exceptional talent who has been at the forefront of commissioning some of the most innovative and widely viewed entertainment formats of the last few years," she said.

"Combine this with his start-up experience from E4 and he makes the perfect candidate to take Channel 5 into the next phase of our growth."

Channel 4's boss hailed the contribution he has made in moulding the station as a ground-breaker in youth-orientated entertainment programming.

Chief executive Michael Jackson said: "Kevin has completely revitalised Channel 4 entertainment and unearthed a phenomenal array of new comic talent.

"Ali G, Trigger Happy TV, Smack the Pony, Spaced, Black Books and So Graham Norton are the best testament to the scale of his contribution at Channel 4.

Ali G
Lygo commissioned Da Ali G Show
"We will all miss him enormously and thank him for everything he has done to make Channel 4 comedy and entertainment what it is. It has been a brilliant achievement."

Some analysts say he wanted a wider challenge after more of his remit was being focused on E4.

In his new role, he will have more say over a greater range of programming on a terrestrial channel.

Mr Lygo had just clinched a 3m deal to keep Graham Norton at Channel 4.

He began his career writing for comedies including Not the Nine O'Clock News and The Two Ronnies before becoming head of development for BBC Entertainment.

While there, he launched They Think It's All Over and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

He also commissioned Men Behaving Badly, Victoria Wood and This Is Your Life.

See also:

01 May 01 | Business
Big Brother, Ali G boost C4 revenue
21 Nov 00 | Entertainment
British TV's Emmy glory
30 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
Channel 5 turns four
27 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Channel 5 boss leaves
30 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Springer joins election news team
08 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Greed grips Channel 5
19 Jan 01 | Entertainment
E4 and Sky claim laurels
13 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Channel 5 criticised in Commons
27 Jun 00 | Entertainment
TFI Friday axed
30 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Vaughan signs 'unique' BBC deal
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