Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Eric Pollard 1988

From The Hotten Courier, Yorkshire Television Emmerdale Farm programme publicity, summer 1988:

Actor Chris Chittell has got used to being the man they love to hate in "Emmerdale Farm", but he has no sympathy for the rogue he plays.

As the disgraced antiques dealer, Eric Pollard, he has terrorised Sandie Merrick, hatched a series of shady deals, and has even been suspected of having shot Henry Wilks' son-in-law, Paolo.

Chris has good reason to disapprove of the dealer's underhand way of doing business.

He says: "Pollard has shown himself to be the worst kind of conman - preying on old folk to try to trick them out of valuable items of furniture.

"My grandmother has had several experiences of men like Pollard calling round and trying to buy antiques from her. One man had his eye on her Louis XIV cabinet in gilt and marble. So many old people have things they think they must get rid of because they've had them for years. They can be so trusting."

Chris says a common ploy is to agree on a price for the item, then the furniture is taken away. The conman then returns the following day offering less money than earlier agreed.

Fortunately, Chris' grandma wasn't fooled by the trick. But Chris hopes that Pollard's bad habits will alert Emmerdale's audience to the dangers of selling on spec to a respectable-looking character.

If Chris looks at home among all those antiques, it's not surprising. For the 39-year-old is a keen collector in real life.

He spends much of his spare time hunting down bargains in junk shops around his home in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

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