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 ARTICLES
Finally, Argento's masterpiece to get 4K restoration release
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021
46601_2_PHENOMENA_EXPLODED_PACK_UK_V12

From master of horror Dario Argento (Suspiria, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage) comes Phenomena - one of his most eccentric and unique thrillers, featuring telepathic insects, maggots galore, and even a razor-wielding chimp!

Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Connelly), daughter of a world-renowned movie star, arrives in the so-called "Swiss Transylvania" to attend an exclusive girls' school. However, a vicious killer is targeting the pupils, and sleepwalker Jennifer finds herself in the assassin's headlights when her nocturnal wanderings cause her to witness the death of a fellow pupil. Aided by paraplegic entomologist John McGregor (Donald Plea...

SHARE: READ MORE
Video nasty classic Don't Go in the House will reopen next year
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021
47326_2_DONT_GO_IN_THE_HOUSE_OCARD_2D

A legendary title from the Video Nasties era, Joseph Ellison's relentlessly bleak and disturbing Don't Go In The House has lost none of its power to shock in the decades since it was first censored by the BBFC and seized by UK authorities.

Donny Kohler (The Sopranos' Dan Grimaldi in a gripping central performance), a disturbed loner unhealthily obsessed with fire, comes home from his factory job one day to find his abusive mother has died. Now all alone in the large Gothic mansion he calls home and consumed in an inferno of insanity, he is finally able to fulfil his violent revenge fantasies against her. Soon, any woman unlucky enough to enter...

SHARE: READ MORE
Hammer returns from the grave!
Posted in News, Wednesday 1st December 2021
Woman in Black (photo c Hammer Films)[3]

Network Distributing has concluded a deal with Hammer Films to form Hammer Studios Ltd. The new company will manage and control Hammer's interests in its substantial library of content such as The Woman in Black (2012), Let Me In (2010), Dracula (1958), The Abominable Snowman (1957) and The Quatermass Experiment (1953), and will see heavy investment both in restoration and new production development from both its owned and newly created IP.

Network's Managing Director Tim Beddows and Financial Director Jonathan Lack, and Hammer's CEO Simon Oakes will head the new company.

Network Managing Director Tim Beddows said: 'This partnersh...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel premieres zombie musical Anna And The Apocalypse on Xmas Day
Posted in Features, Tuesday 30th November 2021
Anna & the Apocalypse-WEB2

There is a Xmas Day treat in store for genre fans, with the Horror Channel premiere of Anna And The Apocalypse, a pure gore delight with a mental, maniacal and magical edge. John McPhail's infectious zombie musical stars Ella Hunt, Mark Benton and Paul Kaye.

Anna is looking forward to the end of high school. But while her widowed father dreams of university, she has other plans - jet-setting around the world to experience life before settling down. Suddenly a zombie apocalypse threatens her sleepy Scottish town, forcing Anna and friends to struggle, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the living dead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. Shaun O...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel unwraps eight UK TV premieres for December including Tales From The Lodge, Aquaslash and Sacrifice
Posted in Features, Tuesday 16th November 2021
Horror Channel Dec highlights - tweet banner

Horror Channel comes bearing gory gifts for the Xmas season, presenting eight UK TV premieres, including Abigail Blackmore's gruesome and comically dark Tales From The Lodge, starring Mackenzie Crook, Sophie Thompson and Johnny Vegas, cosmic chiller Sacrifice, starring horror icon Barbara Crampton and Aquaslash, a mad exploitation slasher harking back to the classic 1980s era of gushing blood and teenage turmoil.

Also showing for the first time on British TV are Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's romantic body horror Spring, Greg McLean's supernatural horror The Darkness, starring Kevin Bacon, deadly thriller, Desolation, Brit mon...

SHARE: READ MORE
Swallow to get an extra special release.
Posted in News, Monday 15th November 2021
Swallow Cover

Second Sight is delighted to announce Carlo Mirabella-Davis' visually stunning, critically acclaimed feature debut Swallow is set to receive a fantastic Limited Edition Blu-ray Box set release, complete with a slew of fascinating new bonus content this November.

Haley Bennett (Hillbilly Elegy) gives an outstanding performance as Hunter a young woman who on the surface appears to have it all, the handsome, successful husband, the idyllic house, and a baby on the way. But is her life as perfect as it seems? As domineering husband Richie (Austin Stowell), and his overbearing family put pressure on Hunter to play the dutiful wife, she becomes overwhelmed and powerless. Desperate to reclaim contr...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel takes off with premiere of action series Airwolf from Thursday 25 November
Posted in Features, Thursday 11th November 2021

Horror Channel is dedicated to bringing great cult action thrillers to its audience and this trend continues with Season 1 of the 1984 US military drama series Airwolf, created by Donald P. Bellisario and produced over four seasons.

A renegade helicopter pilot, Stringfellow Hawke, played by Jan-Michael Vincent, is given the chance to know the whereabouts of his imprisoned brother if he conducts daring missions for a shadowy intelligence agency. Hid first mission is to go to Libya and steal back a high-technology military helicopter, code-named Airwolf, at all costs. With its riveting, high-tech, battle scenes, AIRWOLF is consid...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel invaded by week of Sci-Fi Horror
Posted in Features, Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Horror Channel goes extra-terrestrial with Sci-Fear Week (Saturday 20th to Friday 26th, 9pm), in which strange science, terrifying tech and insidious invasions takes control, highlighted by the Channel premiere of jolting sci-fi thriller The Last Days On Mars, starring Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai and Olivia Williams. It also includes the channel premieres of 1980 British science fiction movie Saturn 3, which stars Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel and XTRO, an unsettling slice of Sci-Fi Horror and one of the few British films that landed on the UK film censors' infamous 'Video Nasty' list. The week also includes Scanners, Ce...

SHARE: READ MORE
One for your Christmas list, the new book from Kim Newman
Posted in News, Wednesday 27th October 2021
Something More Than The Night Cover

From the award-winning author of Anno Dracula comes a masterclass in wit and cinematic vision as the legendary maestro of horror teams together two icons of page and silver screen in a daring and horrifying tale that puts a twist on the genre, as only Kim Newman can. Something More Than Night promises to be a genre-bending horror thriller that brings together two icons of the 1930s.

Hollywood, the late 1930s. Raymond Chandler writes detective stories for pulp magazines. Boris Karloff plays monsters in the movies. Both understand that these streets are dark with something more than night. Under Home House, the mock gothic mock mansion of a film mogul, is a mad science du...

SHARE: READ MORE
88Films to release the classic euro horror The Doll of Satan
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th October 2021
The Doll of Satan

After her uncle dies unexpectedly, Elizabeth Balljanon inherits his sprawling castle. The walls are crumbling, the electricity doesn't work and there's a fully equipped torture chamber in the cellars but interior decoration is the least of her worries: a black-gloved killer haunts the halls at night and, even worse, the tales she's been told about the castle's ghosts might not be stories after all...

Part giallo, part modern-dress Gothic, The Doll of Satan is a gloriously ripe slice of Italian horror, heady with atmosphere and steamy eroticism too. 88 Films has rediscovered this genre gem and given it a superb HD release in the UK for the very first time.

Extras...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel unveils an unholy host of premieres for November
Posted in Features, Thursday 21st October 2021
Nov highliights-social-1

Long weekends just got scarier as Horror Channel announces eleven premieres for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights across November, including five UK TV premieres, three by emerging female directors.

Being shown for the first time on the small screen are Elle Callahan's allegorical paranormal thriller Witch Hunt, Amelia Moses' lyrical lycanthrope horror Bloodthirsty and Coralie Fargeat's directorial debut, the slickly gruesome Revenge. Also getting their first showings on TV are Nicolas Pesce's smartly sadistic Piercing and John Berardo's subversive slasher Initiation.

Neil Marshall makes a welcome return with the channel premiere of Doomsday, as do the Sosk...

SHARE: READ MORE
Nothing will prepare you for Chuck Steel - Night of the Trampires!
Posted in News, Sunday 17th October 2021
Chuck Steel Night of the Trampires poster

Animortal Studios, announces that its British-made stop-motion animated feature, Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires, is releasing into UK cinemas on Friday 29th October, in time for Halloween.

From the fevered imagination of two-time BAFTA-winning writer/director, Mike Mort (Gogs), and featuring the voices of UK comedy legends, Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) and Paul Whitehouse (The Fast Show) alongside Mort's, this homage to 80's B-movie excess is "one of the most extraordinary achievements by an independent animation studio" (Starburst), comes "chock-full of snappy one-liners and ultra-violent action"(Hollywood Reporter) tha...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Urban Legend
URBAN LEGEND
Monday 13th December
9.00 PM
Mama
MAMA
Wednesday 8th December
9.00 PM
Star Trek: Voyager
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
Wednesday 15th December
7.00 PM