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 Channel marks February weekends with eight action-packed premieres
Posted on Wednesday 15th January 2020
Killer parties, virtual dinosaurs, zombie flesh-eaters and Milla Jovovich in top form...Horror Channel makes February an action-packed month with eight premieres, including the UK TV premiere of Matty Beckerman's savage sorority slasher The Row and the channel premieres of Simeon Halligan's neon-drenched Mancunian horror thriller Habit, starring Elliot James Langridge, Roxanne Pallett and Jessica Barden. Plus there's the eerie psychological thriller Can't Come Out To Play, directed by John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), starring Samantha Morton, Michael Shannon and Peter Fonda.
There are also Channel premieres for the 2019 version of Cabin Fever, a remake of Eil Roth's 2002...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel beams in Captain Sulu for "George Takei selects Star Trek" on Saturday January 25
Posted on Monday 6th January 2020
George Takei, the legendary Star Trek actor, personally introduces some of his favourite Sulu episodes from the Original Series.
"George Takei selects Star Trek" will take over Horror Channel on Saturday 25 January, from 3pm, showing four specially selected episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek: The Original Series.
Here are George's chosen episodes with transmission order:
3pm: Star Trek: The Original Series - The Naked Time A rescue party goes to save some scientists on a dying planet, but they are all dead when the team arrives. Can McCoy save the day?
4.05pm: Star Trek: The Original Series - Shore Leave The crew enjoy some downtime on a peaceful p...SHARE: READ MORE 10 of the best from 2019!
Posted on Sunday 22nd December 2019
The last 12 months has been a prime year for the horror genre fan with titles that stretched well-trodden ideas mixed with some truly original pieces.
We've had sequels, remakes, and more than our fair share of true oddities and for once the good outweighed the bad.
Here in no particular order are ten of the best the year had to offer either at festivals, in cinema or home entertainment.
The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot Sam Elliott and Aidan Turner are The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot the critically acclaimed, genre-bending, breath-taking adventure that sees a legendary American war hero as a young man and in his twilight years, taking on two very different adversaries. Decades after serving in WWII and assassinating Adolf Hitler, Calvin Barr (Elliott/Turner) is enlisted as the only man for the job: to hunt down the fable...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season
Posted on Tuesday 10th December 2019 Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season - a retro-flavoured selection of 1980s influenced modern horror, which includes the UK TV premieres of Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski's hard-core hospital horror The Void and Jackson Stewart's throwback paranormal fantasy Beyond the Gates, starring horror legend Barbara Crampton. Broadcast every Saturday night throughout the month, the season also includes Todd Strauss-Schulson's entertainingly subversive slasher fantasy The Final Girls and Lowell Dean's stylish, rage-fuelled WolfCop.
There is also a UK TV premiere for Mathieu Turi's terrifying and moving horror thriller Hostile and channel premieres for Barry Levinson's brutal and ...SHARE: READ MORE Seasonal shocks aplenty on Horror in December including UK premiere of Tyler MacIntyre's Patchwork.
Posted on Thursday 21st November 2019
Wayward werewolves, genetic mutants, a female Frankenstein, man-eating spiders and the return of The Creeper... Horror Channel provides plenty of seasonal shocks in December, including the UK TV premiere for Tyler MacIntyre's incandescent comic horror Patchwork, a modern spin on Mary Shelley mythology, mixed with fun gore and a cheeky tone. It received rapturous applause when first screened in the UK at FrightFest Glasgow 2016 and will delight fans of classic 1980's scream fests.
There is also a UK TV premiere for spider-infested supernatural thriller Guardians of the Tombs, starring Kelsey Grammer and Channel premieres for martial-arts futurist thriller Ultraviolet, starring Milla Jovovich, werewolf chiller...SHARE: READ MORE Renowned Author and critic Kim Newman takes us on a nostalgic trip through Horror Channel's Classic Monster Marathon Day on Sunday 24 November.
Posted on Tuesday 19th November 2019
When Universal Pictures secured the rights to Bram Stoker's Dracula, the property had just been made popular by a Broadway theatre adaptation. Stage star Bela Lugosi got his career-making (and-defining) gig as the Count ('I... am... Dracula') because Lon Chaney, star of Universal's silent Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame, had died and left a gap few thought anyone would ever fill. At the time, the industry classed Dracula as 'a mystery play', lumping it in with the old dark house spookiness of The Cat and the Canary. After the first talkie vampire became a big hit, folks started talking about 'horror films' and 'monster movies' - and the genre as we know it nearly ninety years later was founded. With Dr...SHARE: READ MORE All you need to know about Horror Channel's Classic Monsters Marathon!
Posted on Monday 11th November 2019
On Sunday 24th of November, Horror Channel is celebrating the beginnings of cinema horror with Classic Monsters Marathon.
Kicking off at 1pm, it features some of the most iconic monster movies of all-time, including: Ted Browning and Karl Freund's Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi as the infamously seductive Count, James Whale's genre-defining Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, Karl Freund's mesmerising The Mummy, with Boris Karloff further establishing himself as one of the great horror stars in film history, The Wolf Man, with Lon Chaney, Jr. as the original werewolf and the pulp horror classic Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Dracula is first on the list starti...SHARE: READ MORE 10 things you might not know about Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Posted on Saturday 26th October 2019
It's the one where no one came home. It's the one without Michael Myers. It's the one that stalled at the box-office but gained a huge cult following over the last 37 years or so!
Yes, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the movie which split the Halloween fanbase right down the middle but was supposed to be the relaunch of the brand name.
Here's 10 fear-filled facts you might not know about this classic horror and catch the movie on Horror October 31st at 10.55pm.10) The film was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace who also provides the voice on those classic Silver Shamrock commercials. 9) Speaking of which, the infamous Silver Shamrock jingle is actually the old nursery rhyme... SHARE: READ MORE Sinister, Terrifier and Tower Block amongst Horror Channel premieres in November
Posted on Tuesday 22nd October 2019
Psycho clowns, demented dolls and deadly snipers... Horror Channel is big on scares in November with eleven Channel premieres including murderous supernatural chiller Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke, Damien Leone's screamingly shocking Terrifier and the riveting urban thriller Tower Block, starring Sheridan Smith and Jack O'Connell.
There are also Channel premieres for two popular installments of the Chucky franchise, Child's Play 2 and Child's Play 3. John Carpenter's dazzling fantasy Starman, starring Jeff Bridges, two spooky black comedy classics - Peter Jackson's The Frighteners and Joe Dante's The Burbs, and the even more eerie John Carpenter remake of Village of the Damn...SHARE: READ MORE 13 nights of scares as Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season
Posted on Tuesday 8th October 2019
For thirteen nights, from Saturday 19th October to Thursday 31st October at 9pm, Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season, a supernaturally spooky selection of the scariest movies, including the UK premiere of the ghostly chiller The Unspoken and the channel premiere of the terrifying thriller Pay The Ghost, starring Nicholas Cage.
Other highlights include Damiano Damiani's diabolical prequel to The Amityville Horror - Amityville II: The Possession. James Watkins' spine-chilling remake The Woman In Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Ti West's The Shining slacker-style indie sensation, The Innkeepers. the 2008 US remake of The Eye, starring Jessica Alba and box-offi...SHARE: READ MORE "We are all aliens until we get to know one another". Space 1999 lands on Horror
Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2019
Imagine it is the 1970s, the space race has been won and news of trips to the moon are fading from public interest. But you want to see more than just people playing golf and taking rock samples there. You want to see the human race make a base there, to use it as a launch pad to help reach further into space and maybe one day we could populate it.
Step forward Gerry and Sylvia Anderson who in 1975 gave the world one of the finest and most adventurous Sci-Fi TV series ever made, Space 1999.
The premise is straight forward and smart: It is the (then) future and a base has been built and manned on the moon. Tragedy strikes on September 13th 1999 when an nuclear explosion causes th...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel is delivering the UK TV premiere of Patient Zero this October
Posted on Tuesday 24th September 2019
Horror Channel has five UK TV premieres in October, including pandemic action thriller Patient Zero (Saturday 12th), which stars Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, Stanley Tucci and Agyness Deyn. Humanity is battling intelligent, adrenaline-fueled creatures born from a viral super-strain. After being bitten, human survivor Morgan (Matt Smith) realises he is asymptomatic and can communicate with the infected, leading the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.
There are also UK premieres for Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (October 4th) and Lake Placid: Legacy (October 11th) - two of the popular series of monster crocodile horror/comedy films created by David E. Kelley. Plus, gho...SHARE: READ MORE Features Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
Tuesday 4th February
Thursday 30th January
Sunday 2nd February