Dead Head

‘The actor Terrence Hardiman, who terrified a generation of children in the titular role of the CBBC series The Demon Headmaster in the 1990s, has died aged 86.’ What does the Guardian mean? A generation of children? Yes, I dare say, but what about the parents? I was terrified too. Can’t have been the only one.

We always came home from school and put on the television with our post-educational snack. We usually enjoyed most things that were on. Did we enjoy The Demon Headmaster? I couldn’t say. We survived it.

Actually, I vaguely recall a Blue Peter interview with Terrence Hardiman, where although he still looked like the headmaster, he seemed quite nice. He might even have been a vegetarian. (I don’t know if this is a recommendation, but I took it as such.)

Many years later the Bookwitch read one of the books [by Gillian Cross]. It was set much later, and it sort of explained some of the horrors from the television series.

You’d be tempted to think that made it all right, but in actual fact, it was bloody terrifying. Still. Too. And being a book it didn’t have Terrence Hardiman in it, except in my visual memory of what the Demon Headmaster looked like. Those eyes!

But thank you Terrence, for what you did. It was Very Memorable.

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