Ernie was raised in Weatherfield and followed in his late father's footsteps by pursuing photography as a profession, eventually coming to own a camera shop. A shy, kind man, Ernest remained a bachelor into his late thirties, and in 1969 met Emily Nugent, a fellow member of the local Mission circuit. They had a rocky romance but got married in 1972, and bought No.3 Coronation Street.
As well as his photography, Ernie was engaged in work at the local Community Centre, as was Emily. However, neither was a great source of income and when the studio's rent was trebled in 1976 Ernie was forced to put the photography business into liquidation. The Bishops were saved financially when Mike Baldwin opened denim factory Baldwin's Casuals in the Street and gave Ernie a job as wages clerk, and it was at the factory in 1978, when Ernie was making up wage packets, that two men tried to raid the factory and one of them accidentally fired a shotgun at Ernie, killing him.
Something of a serial worrier, Ernie often let his pessimism get the better of him and he was sometimes inadvertently ignorant of Emily's needs. Despite this, he was a devoted husband and a popular member of the community.
Ernest Bishop was born to George and Caroline Bishop on 11th August 1930 and was educated at Weatherfield Grammar School. He later became a photographer and arrived at the wedding of Steve and Elsie Tanner in 1967 to take photographs. He also went under the trade name of Gordon Bishop.
While sorting out the wages for the factory girls at Baldwin's Casuals in January 1978, two robbers broke in and demanded that Ernest handed over the money, while he was held at gunpoint. The man holding the gun, Tommo, accidentally set the gun off, and shot Ernest. Ernest was rushed to Weatherfield General, but later died following emergency surgery, leaving Emily widowed. The two thugs were apprehended by police within a few days and were later found guilty of murder.
- Emily still keeps photos of Ernest around her house and is still fondly remembered. When Ernest's niece Freda Burgess visited Emily, they talked about Ernest and look through his photographs.
- In 2006, Emily met a man called Ed Jackson at St. Saviour's Church. She later found out he was Ernest's killer who came back to make amends, although Emily couldn't forgive him. After a talk with Reverend Sedgley, she found out that Ed was contemplating suicide. Emily decided to turn the other cheek and forgive him, and gave him Ernest's camera to send her photos to let her know how he was getting on.
- In 2012, Norris Cole borrowed Ernest's old dancing shoes from Emily. They were the ones that Ernest had worn at their engagement party in 1971 and Emily was devastated when they were deliberately vandalised by Tracy McDonald who had an ongoing feud with Norris, as she believed they were his.
- Ernest's departure in 1978 came when actor Stephen Hancock felt he had to resign from Granada at what he perceived as the unjust way contracts were handled, particularly with the major stars; and wanted a more equitable system.
- Ernest was first credited as Gordon Bishop, but this was later revealed to be his trade name.
First and last lines
"They're taking the mon..." (Final line, which he never finished).