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|First appearance||28th April 1976|
|Number of appearances||1|
|Played by||Frank Mills|
When Mavis Riley's Auntie Edie went away for several days in April 1976, Mavis confessed to feeling very nervous having to live alone in their house. Emily Bishop came to the rescue, annoying husband Ernie as it was on the occasion of their fourth wedding anniversary. Uncharacteristically, he agreed to join Ray Langton and Alf Roberts at a stag night held at the Gatsby Club which, unfortunately, was raided part way through the proceedings by the police. The resulting publicity brought Ernie’s presence there to the attention of the Mission Circuit and its superintendent Ivor Mortlake made an appointment to visit 3 Coronation Street to discuss Ernie’s future as a lay preacher, feeling that Ernie’s behaviour was tantamount to a personal attack on all that the mission stood for.
Not for the first time, Ena Sharples came to the rescue and suggested that Ernie tell Mortlake that he went to the club to investigate immorality and therefore increase his knowledge of the evils he was fighting. Although Emily, who had thrown Ernie out onto the street when she found out where he had been, was appalled that he was going to lie, Ernie accepted the suggestion and span his tale to the disapproving Mortlake when he called. Invoking the name of social campaigner Lord Longford who also investigated that which he preached about, Ernie convinced Mortlake of his sincerity, backed up by a very reluctant Emily. When Mortlake suggested that Ernie offer a sermon on what he had seen and found out, Emily taunted him that his next investigation would be into blue movies! When she was out of the room though, Mortlake showed another side to his character and asked, grinning and man-to-man, what actually happened on such nights.