Square Eyes #6: Channel 5 – the worst relaunch ever?

Media mogul Richard Desmond brought FIVE TV last year. On Monday, he completed his big overhaul of the station. Rebranding it very originally to ‘Channel 5’, it was hoped that the millions that Desmond was putting aside for the network might provide something quite special.

Sadly that has not been the case. From what I’ve seen thus far, Channel 5 is just as bad if not worse than it’s forerunner FIVE. Lets look at some of the programmes we have on offer.

First of all there’s new reality show, Candy Bar Girls. This enthralling show will follow a group of lesbians who like to party, as in really like to party. As in don’t do much work because work is for lamo’s and they’re not lame, they’re party girls. Yeah… it’s one of those shows.

But wait! This show will be different, because this show will be tasteful. In fact the channel’s director of programmes Jeff Ford said the show will be a serious sociological enquiry claiming “it’s about our mission to reflect Britain and maybe people who haven’t been reflected, perhaps ever”. So it’s not just exploiting drunken party-goers on TV? I’ll believe it when I see it!

Candy Bar Girls will air in the Spring.

Then of course there’s the Channel’s new flagship tea time show, OK!TV (which is in no way like predecessor Live From Studio Five… honest). Hosted by ‘Live From Studio Five’ host Kate Walsh (wait!) and Matt Johnson, the show presides over pointless celebrity news from a tacky plastic studio, complete with pre-reocrded video, live guests and annoying reporters. Yep, nothing like ‘Live From Studio Five’ (or as Kate says ‘Loive from studio Foive’)

To be fair, Kate wasn’t supposed to be the presenter until four days ago when Denise Van Outen pulled out of presenting the show after supposedly falling out with Richard Desmond. Good start for the show all round.

Anyway, as I was writing this this evening, I thought it best to watch a bit of Live fr.. sorry OK!TV today.

I didn’t last past 15 minutes. I can’t stand this kind of show and I don’t know why anyone does. Even the presenters looked embarrassed at the rubbish they were spewing from their mouths. It’s the sort of show where the fact that Dermot, Louis, Simon and Cheryl might miss this years X-Factor is seen as a ‘disaster’. Not even Cowell himself classes that as a disaster. The cyclone in Australia last week is a disaster. Get some perspective.

And perhaps I’m being harsh here, but at the same time, I guess the show wasn’t exactly designed for my liking!

There are a few other shows being launched include ‘So You Think You Can’t Drive’ (whereby we follow people who are scared of driving), Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing (what? it got re-commissioned?) and a whole plethora of Justin Lee Collins vehicles. Actually I like JLC, he’s alright so long as he doesn’t bring back ‘Heads and Tails’!

On to the positives. 5 news is not a complete mess, in fact it wasn’t a bad broadcast at all from Emma Crosby and even if not the most hard-hitting news programme, it was at least different to it’s terrestrial competitors. And that was the positives.

Even the onscreen prescence is dreadful. A great big red circle with a single ‘5’ in the centre. It looks tackier than some of the rubbish that appears on the furthest reaches of digital, let alone our fifth channel…. and to think, Jeremy Hunt thinks we need a sixth.

So where have Desmond’s millions gone exactly. Well the BIG rumour is that his BIGgest announcement is yet to come, from his BROTHER (sorry that was tenuous). I am of course talking about Big Brother, which has been linked to Channel 5 ever since it left C4. It would have been nice to see a big show like this announced at the start of the launch. Maybe then they would have at least had one ratings winner. At this rate, the connection with BB is just going to hurt C5 as those who wanted it back, turn away from the channel that has led them on and let them down.

So it seems Channel 5 is to remain as trashy, dull and pathetic as ever. There will still be some good stuff, but that will come almost solely from America. I was hoping for some more great British TV and that we certainly don’t have here. Maybe one day Channel 5 will get it right, but it certainly isn’t yet. Throw a few more million at it Richard!

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