"The name of
Ernest Elliott is one that is linked with a distinct
novelty. On stage proper, he has his own
separately equipped miniature stage and thereupon, he
offers Human Marionettes, which must be seen to be
- TED KAVANAH,
FLOTSAM'S FOLLIES 1949
One of the first entertainers to appear
on television, Ernest Elliott performed his humanettes for 35 years, including 35 broadcasts in the
early days of the BBC, a performance for Princess
Margaret when she was aged 7 and appearances all over
the country in Summer Seasons, Music Hall and Variety.
Ernest lived all his life in Market
Harborough. His aptitude for entertaining others,
showed itself when, as a schoolboy of 12, he entertained
his fellow pupils at school functions. At 15, he
showed great promise as a ventriloquist, but it was when
he turned professional that his true skill with
humanettes came to the fore.
"It was a terribly busy life," he said in
a newspaper interview in 1970, "In the Winter I
travelled 2000 miles a month, but I enjoyed the work - I
ate, drank and slept it."
His main repertoire, which he wrote
himself, featured as many as 80 characters including a
Bricklayer, a Sheik with his Camel, a Goalkeeper and a
Musician playing "Poet & Peasant" on Tubular Bells.
During his show-business career, Ernest wrote the words
and music to over 250 songs - one of which, "The Song of
the Tinker," was recorded on HMV by Peter Dawson.
Ernest entertained professionally until
1957, except for a period during the 1914-18 War, when
he served as a Naval Physical Education Instructor.
Following his entertainment career, he returned to the
family business and became a partner in a Gentlemen's
Outfitters in Market Harborough, a shop which was in the
Elliott family for 98 years.
He was also a Church Organist, a position
which he held for 60 years and even while touring, he
returned home to Market Harborough on Sunday Mornings,
whenever possible to carry out his duties as organist at
the Congregational Church, where his Father had been the
organist for 25 years before him.