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Five to rebrand as Channel 5

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© Channel 5

Richard Desmond has revealed plans to return Five to the Channel 5 branding that the commercial broadcaster used for its launch in 1997.

The rebranding plans emerged on the day that Desmond confirmed that up to 80 jobs would be lost at Channel 5 in a major overhaul of the broadcaster he acquired in a £103.5 million deal.

As part of the new strategy, Channel 5 will revert to the original on and off-screen branding used to launch the channel in March 1997. The branding is expected to be fully refreshed, but no exact details have emerged as yet.

In late 2002, Channel 5 spent millions on rebranding itself as Five as part of efforts to move away from its image as a downmarket alternative to its rival terrestrial broadcasters.

The company later launched a refreshed on and off-air look under the slogan, "We Are Five".

Alongside confirming the rebranding and restructure plans, Desmond has also promised a major new programming investment at Channel 5 to help it go "toe-to-toe with the biggest players in the TV world".

Desmond's Northern & Shell company will make an investment "in the field of" £300 million every year for the next five years to be spent on new content.

The billionaire is hoping to boost Five's audience share and advertising revenue by securing more hit programmes, with Endemol's Big Brother a major target as the format is in its final year on Channel 4.

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