If you see this screen on May 1st in Essex, you will need to move your dish.

A campaign is about to begin to warn Sky TV viewers in Essex that they could lose all channels on September 1st – a qualified engineer will be required to move dishes to face a new Essex-specific satellite that has now been launched into orbit. According to TV experts, the new Chantelsat satellite has been launched as the existing Astra satellites that serve the UK will become ‘invisible’ in Essex at the beginning of May due to the Earth’s rotation angle adjusting by a tenth of a degree.

Roger Ellenby, a local satellite broadcasting specialist, explained the situation to our Chief Reporter. He said: ‘Geologists have been able to predict the Earth’s rotation patterns for a number of years now, and they now have concrete evidence that 94% of all homes in Essex will not be able to pick up satellite TV from the regular satellites from either the end of April or the beginning of May. Scientists know that the planet’s rotation will have changed very slightly by then, and unfortunately this will mean that the majority of Essex will fall within a ‘dark zone.’ The good news is that Chantelsat has now been launched exclusively for the people of Essex, and on a clear night it can even be spotted from Southend seafront.’

He added: ‘While Essex dishes have to point South-East at the moment, Chantelsat will sit in the sky to the North-West of the county – this means that most people in Essex will need to get their dishes moved to the other side of their home. However, a trained dish engineer will be able to do this without any problems. The main concern for satellite TV viewers in the county is that Chantelsat has cost £1.3bn from design to launch, and at some point this may lead to higher bills for Essex residents.’

We asked Chloe Hertz, a Sky TV subscriber in Benfleet, if she was prepared for the new satellite’s launch. She said: ‘Most of my friends have already booked an appointment with a satellite dish engineer, but I really don’t see the point in getting mine moved. Everyone seems to be forgetting that the Earth does one full rotation in a 24-hour period, and this means that while I will lose all of my channels in the morning they should all come back by tea-time – just in time for me to watch my soaps and Big Brother before going to bed.’