The TV executive who launched Da Ali G Show, Trigger Happy TV and So Graham Norton is returning to Channel 4 after two years away.
Da Ali G Show was commissioned during Mr Lygo's last stint
Kevin Lygo will become Channel 4's new director of television after leaving Five, formerly Channel 5, where he was director of programmes.
He is credited with making Channel 4 the home of cutting-edge entertainment during his three-and-a-half years there until 2001.
During two years at Five, he has helped transform its image from a channel dominated by trash into one boosted by accessible arts.
"We've built a great team at Five and I've hugely enjoyed my time there, but I couldn't pass up the chance to return to Channel 4," he said.
"The combination of a bigger programme budget and the channel's remit to cause trouble and to innovate represents a unique opportunity for a channel controller and a challenge that I'm genuinely excited by."
Mr Lygo's move follows the departure of Tim Gardam from the Channel 4 director of television post.
Channel 4 chief executive Mark Thompson said: "I had only one person in mind when it came to replacing Tim and so I'm delighted that Kevin has agreed to rejoin Channel 4."
Mr Lygo 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.