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|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Stephen Hancock|
|Introduced by||Jack Rosenthal (1967)
H.V. Kershaw (1969)
|First appearance||6 September 1967|
|Last appearance||11 January 1978|
|Date of birth||11 August 1930|
|Date of death||11 January 1978|
Ernest Gordon Bishop was played by Stephen Hancock.
Ernest had been educated at Weatherfield Grammar School, and, despite being very academically inclined, he refused a place at Manchester Victoria University, in order to run his own photographic business. Operating under his 'professional' name Gordon Bishop, he first appeared at Elsie Tanner's wedding as official photographer in 1967. Once he had met the shy, retiring Emily Nugent, he knew that she was the woman for him. They had many things in common, not least firm religious beliefs (Ernest was a lay preacher). After a long courtship, they married on Easter Monday 1972.
Being middle-aged, they were unable to have children of their own, but successfully fostered two black children at Christmas 1974; the Bishops' marriage had been going through a rough patch and the decision brought them closer together.
Ernest was consumed with shame and guilt when his photographic business failed. Emily, however, was a tower of strength, insisting that she go out to work and be the bread winner. Ernie stayed at home, becoming the Street's first househusband; this made him the butt of jokes from the men folk of the Street, but Emily was proud of him.
Ernie was able to make some spare money by playing the piano in pubs and night clubs —he was accompanist for Rita Littlewood at the Gatsby Club—but, despite being grateful for the money, Emily drew the line when Ernie played the piano for a stripper, who came round to their house to practice her act.
Eventually, Ernest was able to secure a job at Baldwin's Casuals, the factory in Coronation Street. Ostensibly, his job was wages clerk, but factory owner Mike Baldwin knew and trusted him implicitly, so he became more of his right-hand man.
On the morning of Wednesday January 11, 1978, however, two young thugs, Ed and Tommo, burst into the factory demanding that Ernie hand over the wages. Ernie was a gentle man, but he had the courage of his convictions, and instead tried to talk them round. Mike Baldwin, wanting to know what the delay was, burst into the office, knocking gun man Ed Jackson's arm. The gun went off. Whether Jackson had intended to kill him or not, Ernie died on the operating table. The shock of learning what had happened to Ernie caused Emily to faint in the Street. The following episodes of the programme concentrated on the utter futility of what had happened, and, when the gunmen were sentenced to life imprisonment, further contemplation was given to the fact that two young lives had been ruined also.
In 2006, 'Ed Jacks', a seemingly pious and religious man, re-entered Emily Bishop's life. At first they were firm friends, until Ed revealed his true identity was Thomas Edward Jackson. This made Emily doubt her faith—how could she 'turn the other cheek', as the Bible told her, when confronted with her husband's killer?
|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Paul Maxwell|
|Introduced by||H.V. Kershaw|
|First appearance||3 May 1967|
|Last appearance||27 December 1967|
|Date of birth||30 October 1924|
|Date of death||25 September 1968|
Stephen Edward "Steve" Tanner, played by Paul Maxwell, was an old flame of Elsie Tanner's from the war. He returned to Weatherfield in 1967 and rekindled his relationship with Elsie. They married that year and moved back to Steve's hometown in America. In 1968 Elsie returned alone saying her marriage was over. Steve followed Elsie back to the Street but he was pushed down a flight of stairs and killed by Joe Donnelli.