ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Horror's Channel Manager Stewart Bridle
By James Whittington, Friday 10th May 2019
Stewart Bridle is Horror Channel's longest serving Channel Manager. He has guided Horror for almost a decade and has managed to bring to our screens many classics as well as introducing us to some new horror movie talent. In this, our 15th anniversary month we chat to Stewart about his role and some of the juicy pieces he has lined up for the rest of 2019.

HC: Have you always been a horror movie fan?

SB: Yes! I've always been interested and fascinated with horror and all genre stuff. I have an older brother who would manage to rent or get bootleg VHS of some great horror titles and I have memories of watching things like the original Dawn Of The Dead or slashers like The Burning while far too young and got the bug then. Later on I became a huge fan of the Alien films and ended up running a fanzine about them, so I've always been involved with horror films in some way.

HC: Can you recall your interview for the Manager's post?

SB: Actually, I wasn't originally recruited to work on the Horror Channel but another one run by the company so there were no questions on my horror knowledge just what daytime drama I knew and enjoyed. But it soon became apparent to my bosses I was a massive geek and knew my stuff so that when they needed a new manager to take over Horror they already had the perfect candidate under their noses. Sometimes you just end up where you've always needed to be.

HC: How complicated is it to create a schedule and how far do you plan schedules in advance?

SB: It's more complicated than people generally think. I'm constantly working on selecting and acquiring titles all year round and planning the strategy of the channel about a year in advance where possible. However, you have to adapt plans when you can't get some of the movies you want or unexpected ones become available. It's equally exciting and frustrating at times. When it comes to the schedule itself there are a lot of factors you have to take into consideration beyond the movies themselves so it's like a massive jigsaw puzzle that has to be slotted together to get the maximum potential commercial performance as well as being hopefully entertaining TV. Then there's all the other aspects to work with like our on-air creatives, marketing and digital activities too, there's many moving parts!

HC: How many movies do you screen a week?

SB: Depending on the week it can be as little as just a few to trying to get through something like 20. There's a lot of independent titles out there of variable quality so these need to be watched to see if they fit the channel and will be worth licensing. This is probably my favourite part of the job, who wouldn't love getting paid to watch movies, but I have to screen some stinkers at times and am under a bit of pressure to find a good selection of stuff.

HC: We get a lot of questions via social media asking why the channel shows such stuff as Star Trek, Andromeda etc, what's your response to this?

SB: Well the channel's come a long way in 15 years and of course it has evolved in that time. If it was possible to just show horror throughout the day and for that to be popular and successful enough then it probably would do that, but that's not the case in the marketplace it's in. The channel has transformed into a multi-genre entertainment one and sci-fi is very popular (and daytime friendly) but we still have a large horror slant, particularly in the post 9pm movie schedule and I work to keep it that way. The more successful the channel is the more people it has to reach and that means the more things we have to do for a broader audience. But that also means the channel is still there entertaining and it is better to have the channel then not.

HC: You are the channel's longest serving manager, what's your proudest achievement with the channel?

SB: That's a tough one but I think any time where we break any ratings records is of course an achievement. But in terms of content one thing that took a lot of work to get was acquiring classic Doctor Who for the channel. It was a long process but gave the Horror some great exposure to a new audience, had a great launch campaign and being a fan of the show, it was great to be able to work with it. The Sci-Fi Zone has been a popular programming block and a great idea, but I've also loved some of the seasons I've been able to do, particularly of favourite directors of mine such as Wes Craven and John Carpenter.

HC: What's the strangest movie request you've received?

SB: Hard to point out a single example but we do get asked for some pretty obscure stuff at times and things that are just too niche to work for a larger TV audience. Most viewers of course don't understand the complexities of acquiring and licensing content but its not a simple as just wanting to play a title, picking up a DVD and putting it on...

HC: Horror recently had it biggest ever audience on one of the hottest days on record, how do you feel when you get news like that?

SB: It's a good feeling and strangely happy one that people were choosing to watch your channel than enjoying the sunshine! Basically, results like that both show the channel is still relevant and popular in what is an increasing difficult TV broadcasting landscape and that I'm also doing a good job and what I've chosen to acquire, and schedule has worked so the effort has been worthwhile.

HC: What's your fantasy Horror channel line-up?

SB: I've managed to get some but not all of my favourite movies on the channel at one time or another. If you're talking about a night of just my most loved films then it would probably be something like The Exorcist followed by Jaws, then Alien or Aliens and then the original Dawn Of The Dead. What a night's viewing that would be!

HC: So, what treats can we expect over the next 15 years of Horror?

SB: I'm not sure yet about all 15 years but we certainly have some great stuff coming up for the rest of 2019. Invasion season in May is one I've wanted to do for a while and happy that finally came together, there's some great things I've managed to get from known titles like Sinister and You're Next to some cool independents like Bite and Terrifier, along with a favourite sci-fi series of mine; Space 1999. Hopefully viewers will continue to enjoy the selection and find the channel as fun and entertaining as ever. Thatís why we're here!

HC: Stewart Bridle, thank you very much.


Related show tags: ANDROMEDA, JOHN CARPENTER, STAR TREK, THE THING
MORE FEATURES
Horror will be at MCM Comic Con London 2019, and you could be too!
Posted on Friday 17th May 2019

Horror will be at MCM Comic Con London 2019 and you've got the chance to be there too. More details on our Competitions Page.

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Bites - Now available on Freesat
Posted on Wednesday 8th May 2019

Satellite TV audiences are now able to catch up on their favourite Horror Channel, CBS Reality, CBS Justice and CBS Drama programmes through their Freesat set top boxes as the CBS AMC UK Channels Partnership, a joint venture between AMC Networks International and CBS Studios International, launches Horror Bites and CBS Catchup Channels UK on Freesat, the UK's leading subscription free satellite TV platform.

Freesat viewers can now access content from the CBS UK channels, one of the fastest-growing channel portfolios in the UK, for up to thirty days after broadcast. Viewers can also watch on-demand content in the form of box sets and CBS Reality Original programming such as Ev...

SHARE: READ MORE
A brief history of Horror
Posted on Friday 3rd May 2019

"Let the nightmares begin..."

It's hard to think that way back in 2004 that there wasn't a TV station dedicated to the darker side of cinema. We all had to make do with DVDs, late night repeats or subscribe to Sky Movies to get our fix of classic and contemporary chills.

The Horror Channel (for that it was called way back) was launched on May 3rd, 2004 on an unsuspecting public. This free-to-air destination for horror fans was filled with some true classics as well as the odd piece of news and some features. After a few months the channel had built up a loyal following and was noticed by a company, Zone Vision Networks Ltd in 2005 and in 2006 the channel was re-...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror brings terror home in May
Posted on Saturday 27th April 2019

Apart from the movies in our Invasion Season (Channel premieres for The Darkest Hour, Extraterrestrial and Dark Skies) tune in for the UK TV premiere of Roxy Shith's blood-thirsty thriller Painkillers and channel premieres for horror anthology, Tales That Witness Madness, helmed by Freddie Francis and Neil LaBute's horrifying racial drama Lakeview Terrace, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Patrick Wilson.

Plus, the channel premiere of Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil: Retribution, with Milla Jovovich, returning as iconic heroine Alice.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
Dark forces invade Horror Channel in May
Posted on Thursday 18th April 2019

Dark forces arrive on Horror Channel in May when the UK's most popular genre TV channel unleashes Invasion Season: a collection of Saturday night alien attack sci-fi movies.

The line-up includes Chris Gorak's Moscow-set apocalyptic fantasy, The Darkest Hour, Colin Minihan's wonderfully effective sci-fi shocker Extraterrestrial, Scott Stewart's compulsive alien home-invasion thriller Dark Skies and the high velocity alien battler drama Skyline, directed by Greg and Colin Strause.

In the Channel Premiere of The Darkest Hours on the 4th, young entrepreneurs Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) find themselves stranded in Moscow, alongside fellow travellers Natal...

SHARE: READ MORE
Fright Night, The Woman in Black and The Final Girls lead Horror Channel's April line-up
Posted on Monday 18th March 2019
The Woman In Black-WEBDaniel Ratcliffe

Coming up in April, Horror Channel premieres two playfully affecting horror comedies that both pack a mighty punch.

Todd Strauss-Schulson's entertainingly subversive slasher fantasy The Final Girls, receives its UK TV premiere on Friday 19th April, 9pm, whilst Tom Holland's voracious vampire classic Fright Night will get its Channel premiere on Saturday 13th April, 9pm.

Also, on Friday 12th April, 9pm, there is a TV first for Takashi Shimizu's turbulence-driven supernatural thriller Flight 7500, starring Amy Smart and Ryan Kwanten.

Plus, in an petrifying scare-packed month, there are channel premieres for Peter ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Hit the road with Horror in March
Posted on Monday 18th February 2019

Apart from our Season of the Dead event throughout March, Horror also wants to take you on a couple of trips, dare you come with us to Ireland, France and a mythical forest?

backpacking trip through Ireland sees the resurrection of a franchise on the 1st and a UK TV premiere for Leprechaun: Origins. Two unsuspecting young couples discover a town's chilling secret when the town's residents offer them an old cabin at the edge of the woods. Soon, they discover that one of Ireland's most famous legends is a terrifying reality. Another UK TV premiere on the 8th, Resurrection of Evil. Jackie Sullivan (Julie Benz), a troubled young woman with a serious alcohol addiction, is released from rehab and given a second chance with a new job a...

SHARE: READ MORE
All rise for Horror Channel's Season of the Dead
Posted on Monday 18th February 2019

Be prepared for a Zombie invasion as Saturday nights in March on Horror Channel give rise to Season of the Dead, a collection of modern zombie movies. Highlights include the channel premieres of critically-acclaimed Maggie, a heart-breaking take on the Zombie genre starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Dante's Burying The Ex, a radical blend of classic horror and screwball zomedy. There are also welcome returns for post-apocalyptic zombie actioner Extinction, directed by Inside helmer Miguel Angel Vivas, Matthias Hoene's ultra-splatter comedy horror Cockneys Vs Zombies, starring Michelle Ryan and John Erick Dowdle's [REC]-inspired Quarantine.

The season starts on March 2nd in a movie that gives Arnold Schwarzenegger a real chanc...

SHARE: READ MORE
A Grimmfest double-bill event to celebrate Horror Channel's Season of the Dead
Posted on Wednesday 13th February 2019
Grimmfest Logo

Grimmfest will be presenting a Zombie Double Bill, in association with Horror Channel's upcoming Season of the Dead on February 20th.

The evening is being held at Plaza Cinema, Stockport with doors opening at 6.30pm for a 7pm start and contains two celebrated gut-munching must sees back on the big screen; Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland.

Shaun of the Dead is the cult horror/comedy starring Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield and Nick Frost and directed by Edgar Wright, this is your chance to embrace the famous George A. Romero parody on the big screen as a man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother and dealin...

SHARE: READ MORE
UK TV premieres for Redwood and The Tall Man lead Horror Channel's February line-up
Posted on Monday 21st January 2019

The Nun UK TV premiere

February on Horror Channel sees the UK TV premieres of films by two highly talented directors: Tom Paton brings a fresh spin to creature-in-the-woods mythology with Redwood, a nerve-shredding chiller that will make you think twice about going camping, and The Tall Man, Pascal Laugier's follow-up to his classic Martyrs is another sensational thriller of astonishing depth.

There are also channel premieres for Luls de la Madrid's unholy supernatural shocker The Nun, John Dahl's white-knuckle thriller Joy Ride, the Wachowski Brothers' stylish, neo-noir crime caper Bound, starring Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon, and Alexandra Aja's intensely disturbing Mirrors, starring Keifer Suther...

SHARE: READ MORE
Get ready to move into 2019 with Sliders.
Posted on Thursday 3rd January 2019

Ever wanted the ability to move between periods of time in Earth's history, and if so, where would you choose? But what if each period of time was from an alternate universe? This is the added jeopardy faced by the four travellers in the cult series Sliders, which starts on Horror on January 7th.

A physics postgraduate student Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell) discovers how to travel or 'slide' to parallel dimensions via a vortex, and is joined by his professor Professor Maximillian Arturo (John Rhys-Davies), his friend Wade Wells (Sabrina Lloyd), and a stranger Rembrandt Brown (Cleavant Derricks) accidentally caught up in the experiment.

Over five seasons and 88 ep...

SHARE: READ MORE
Top 10 movies of 2018
Posted on Tuesday 1st January 2019

It's been a real bumper year for horror movie fans. 2018 delivered up more cinematic scares than most years, it also saw he return of some of one of the most iconic monsters of all time.

Here, in no particular order, is our ten favourites and let us know yours via Facebook and Twitter.

Ghost Stories
The movie that breathed new life into the portmanteau genre, Ghost Stories is a sublime excursion into the smart minds of two incredibly talented people; Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman. Phillip Goodman (Nyman), professor of psychology, arch-skeptic, one-man 'belief buster' - has his rationality tested to the hilt when he receives a letter apparently from beyond the grave. Played totally straight and written and directed by Dyson and Nyman from their own celebrated stage play, Ghost Stories delivers an unforgettable experience and proves once again that Andy Nyman is on...

SHARE: READ MORE
Features Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
Jeepers Creepers 2
JEEPERS CREEPERS 2
Tuesday 28th May
9.00 PM
Skyline
SKYLINE
Saturday 25th May
9.00 PM
Severance
SEVERANCE
Monday 27th May
10.50 PM