A cable television channel owned by the Mirror Group
that was launched in 1995 and died in 1999, failing miserably
to turn a profit
in any of its four active years.
Live TV started out as the brainchild of Janet Street-Porter to give the people of UK a cable channel offering 24-hour coverage of style, fashion, entertainment and news. However, former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie turned her dream into the embarrassing epitome of tabloid TV, aiming primarily at young adult male viewers and filling the schedules with a mix of minor sports, cheap gimmicks and soft porn.
Despite its low viewing figures throughout its life, the channel was widely known for showing Topless Darts and the News Bunny - a guy in a rabbit costume who jumped around the newsroom during bulletins gesturing to the camera. Hilarious. The rest of the programming reached new lows in terms of quality, a nadir that, as yet, even the infamous Channel 5 has kept a safe distance from. They had an uncanny knack of isolating the very essence of crass masculinity and making it into a TV program, like two guys reviewing beer while a topless woman dances in the foreground.
The channel ceased transmission at 6pm on Friday, November 5th 1999 having being bought by the cable operator NTL but few people mourned the loss. However, with the recent boom in new Digital channels, the hardcore fans of Live TV will be appeased again as soon as the men's magazine Loaded decides to move into the cathode-ray realm. Until then, well, they'll just have to make do with Channel 5.