Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Monster Memories: The Deadly Ernest Horror Show






































I tried to get this painting and post out for Halloween 2016 but with October being a busy time for me I missed the deadline... No matter, better late than never! Last time I tackled horror host Dr Walpurgis (later changed to Dr. Terror) host of the Vault of Horror which ran on BBC 2 from 1992 to 1996 and I mentioned that some regard him to be Britain's’ first television horror host and that this was not in fact the case. The first British horror host was Deadly Ernest who had actually left our screens a year before the good Doctor Walpurgis made his debut having been on Sky Channel (later renamed Sky 1) since 1985 hosting a Friday night horror show entitled, The Deadly Ernest Horror Show. Ernest (not to be confused with the Australian horror host Deadly Earnest) was a vampire that introduced the Friday night horror movie and if one consults the all knowing internet about the show Jack Hardy is credited for playing Earnest however, Jack Hardy was in fact one Mr. Jim Bywater, actor of stage, screen and television roles perhaps most notably playing Wilf Starkey in Coronation Street. I “consulted” the internet about Ernest and it provides despairingly little about him and the show online, and not even Sky 1, the very channel that originally aired the series could help me in my research, a great shame because Ernest was one of Sky's regular faces back in the day. When the Sky channel celebrated its 5th Birthday in 1987 he made up the group of Sky presenters singing along on Anita Chellamah's 'Join the Family of Sky' music video promo alongside fellow presenters such Anthea Turner, Tony Blackburn, Pat Sharp and DJ Kat! Everything seemed to change when Rupert Murdoch expanded Sky's service and formed the Sky Television Network in February 1989 Ernest was 're-vamped' with a new wardrobe and sidekick, Scarlett Aorta, played by model and former Page 3 girl Jilly Johnson. As for the movies that featured in the early days YouTube gives us some idea, 'The Late Nancy Irving’ and ‘Sweet Scent of Death’ are mentioned suggesting that they aired the feature length episodes of Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense from 1984. In my quest to find out more I turned to vintage issues of TV Guide because the main British listing magazines didn't start publishing cable and satellite listings until 1991. Here is an ongoing list of episodes that I hope to keep open and update accordingly.

Friday September 29th 1989 11:30pm Island of Sister Theresa (1979).

Friday October 6th 1989 11:30pm Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (1974).

Friday January 12th 1990 11:30pm Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1984).

Friday February 9th 1990 11:30pm Lies (1985).

Friday March 2nd 1990 11:30pm Dark Star (1974).

Friday March 9th 1990 11:30pm Dick Barton- Special Agent (1948).

Friday May 25th 1990 11:30pm The Outer Space Connection (1975).

Friday June 15th 1990 11:30pm Island of Sister Theresa (1979).
 
Friday June 29th 1990 11:30pm Sophisticated Gent (1981).

Friday July 6th 1990 11:30pm Vogues of 1938 (1937).

Friday July 20th 1990 11:30pm Bobbikins (1959).

Friday July 27th 1990 11:30pm You Only Live Once (1937).

Friday Aug 3rd 1990 11:30pm The Rollicking Adventures of Eliza Fraser (1976).

Friday Aug 10th 1990 11:30 Sleeping Dogs (1977).

Friday Aug 24th 1990 11:30 Manbeast! Myth or Monster? (1978).

Friday Aug 31st 1990 11:30 Atragon (1963).

Friday Sept 7th 1990 11:00pm Attack of the Puppet People (1958).

Friday Sept 21st 1990 11:00pm Deranged (1974).

Friday March 1st 1991 11:00pm Zontar The Thing From Venus (1966).

Friday March 8th 1991 11:00pm Vampire (1979).

Friday March 15th 1991 11:00pm Master of the World (1961).

Friday March 22nd 1991 11:00pm Dark Star (1974).

Friday March 29th 1991 11:00pm Fer-de-Lance (1974).

Friday April 4th 1991 11:00pm Killer Bees (1974).

Friday April 12th 1991 11:00pm Trilogy of Terror (1975).

Friday Night 19th 1991 11:00pm Night Drive (1977).

TV Guide February 3-9 1990
 
TV Guide September 15-21 1990 
I didn't actually get to experience Deadly Ernest the first time round, despite constant desperate pleas to my parents our household didn't join the Sky revolution until around 1994 before that occasion it was recordings of movies, or shows such as ALF, WWF Wrestling and The Simpsons recorded by family and friends already signed up to Sky but even then it would seem that Sky had laid Ernest to rest, the Friday night film ran without him all the same but under the guise of Friday Fright Feature.
RIP Deadly Ernest, 1685- 1991
Britain's First Horror Host.







© Arfon Jones 2017. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

 

4 comments:

  1. I remember Jilly Johnson. Wasn't she one of the early Page 3 girls?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hadn't heard of him! Thank you for the education.

    ReplyDelete

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