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Underground Ernie

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Underground Ernie was an animated cartoon series based around the adventures of Ernie, a supervisor on the underground railway network.  Ernie was voiced by the former footballer Gary Lineker.

Around the time of the show's inception, series producer Sid Rainey (formerly of the group Compulsion) bumped into Miles in a chance meeting and happened to discuss what he was working on at the time.  This led to a series of discussions about The Wonder Stuff recording the theme tune plus additional incidental music for the series although the score was eventually credited simply to HRB Music (Hunt, Rainey, (Martin) Bell).

Twenty-six episodes were originally recorded and broadcast alongside the release of a range of children's merchandise from toys and clothing to books and magazines.

On its initial launch in June 2006, the programme was broadcast twice daily - once on BBC2 and later on the CBeebies channel.  The launch episode centred around a pop star named Sam 7 who had to get to his concert venue without being mobbed by his fans.

With his design clearly influenced by Hunt, it was originally anticipated that Miles would provide the voice for the character but as Miles was not a member of Equity (the UK trade union for performing artists) this plan eventually had to be shelved with the voice ultimately being provided by an existing cast member, Chris Jarvis.

In 2008, following the huge success of the brand (80,000 website visitors, highest weekly viewing CBeebies figures, over 30 UK product licenses, product sales in excess of 1m within 2 years of the show's launch), the production company behind Underground Ernie (Joella Productions) began considering further investment in the show with a view to work on up to 56 further episodes.  Sadly the project was later shelved and the Ernie brand was mothballed.


For a while, his involvement in the show often led to Miles performing an extract of the theme tune at his solo acoustic shows.  The released theme tune for the series also featured Gary Lineker on vocals but a number of other tracks and incidental music were written and recorded for the show.  A version of the theme tune with additional verses and vocals from Vic Reeves in place of Lineker was recorded and Reeves is also thought to have worked on other tracks with Miles as well as Amsterdam's Ian Prowse who also reported at the time that he had been working on tracks with Miles.

A one stage, it was anticipated that a full soundtrack album to the series would be released by the BBC but without further investment this was something else that was never followed through to release and remains in the archives.