Following coverage in The Scottish Sunday Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Radio Times, Soaplife and Digital Spy etc., I can break cover on Alan Turner’s Funeral. Emmerdale

Alan Turner’s Harley Davidson hearse funeral

In 1972 the 1st episode of Emmerdale was centered around a funeral with both an automobile hearse and a wheeled hand bier. In 2013 the 6699th episode is centred around the funeral of motorbike buff Alan Turner, who was played for thirty-one years by Harley Davidson motorcycle enthusiast the late Richard Thorp, with an authentic motorcycle hearse. Emmerdale wanted our Harley, but we had taken it out of service and just like a real funeral had less than two weeks notice. With everything for our new sidecar-hearse to hand, but at that moment no fitter or Harley, could we really have a Harley hearse on time?

To say yes and fail would ruin our reputation forever!

“Yes, we can do it.”

Darce Vader in the Motorcycle Funerals Limited workshop

We located a stunning Electra Glide similar to Richard Thorp’s motorbike and I phoned Jim D’arcy, the D’arce Vader of sidecars, at the TT, to help us. A few long hours later…

The legendary Freddie Jones

Three three seriously cool Harleys led at the front, followed by the Harley Electra Glide and sidecar-hearse, some BSAs, an AJS and an adventure bike, but without doubt Freddie Jones on his mobility scooter put us all in the shade. So refreshing to work with someone from the Goggles generation rather than the Google. Upon hearing my accent he launched into Rabbie

Burns and quoted the full passages, not just the famous parts. It’s inspiring to spend time with someone so passionate about their vocation and for Freddie poetry is a love, not just a bunch of lines to memorise.

Alan Turner’s coffin on the Emmerdale Electra Glide Hearse

This is a national soap that knows its funerals so they were keen to pick my brain on my twelve years of motorcycle funerals and made every effort to get Alan Turner’s final ride as authentic as possible. The wonderful Ros Aynsley in particular was careful to listen to my experience on everything from the flowers through to the helmet and leather jacket arrangement on the coffin itself.

Alan Turner’s coffin in the sidecar hearse

The Emmerdale team even picked some of the outriders from a club called ‘The Undertakers,’ how appropriate!

Paul with two members of The Undertakers Riders Club

Having appeared on the very first episode on 16th October 1972 Bryn Dennis is Emmerdale’s longest standing actor and obviously knew Richard Thorp, so it meant a lot to see that our Electra Glide motorcycle and sidecar hearse received his approval.

Bryn Dennis is Emmerdale’s longest standing actor

Emmerdale – 30th October 2013 – ITV

Outside The Woolpack with my assistant Nadine Knew.