LONDON — Kevin Lygo, director of programs at U.K. commercial web Five, confirmed Wednesday he will replace Tim Gardam, director of television at rival Channel 4, when Gardam leaves at the end of this year.
Lygo, formerly head of entertainment at Channel 4, will have a seat on the C4 board and will manage its schedule and commissioning team as well as programming on sister channels, including E4. He will oversee a budget of £ 439 million ($715 million), much larger than Five’s $256 million.
He joined C4 in August 1997 and was responsible for hits such as “Spaced,” “Smack the Pony” and “Trigger Happy TV” as well as discovering Graham Norton and Ali G.
At Five, Lygo is widely credited with broadening the program lineup from its infamous “films, football and fucking,” a description coined by former Five chief exec Dawn Airey, to embrace original U.K. production including arts, popular factual and history programming.
“It’s flattering that when Channel 4 is looking for a new director of television, they come to Five once again,” said new Five chief exec Jane Lighting. “Five is very much a team effort, and while it is sad to lose an individual such as Kevin, he leaves behind one of the most talented management and programming teams in British broadcasting, who will continue to drive the channel’s success.”