I was very sad to read today that Professor Mick Aston (most famous for his almost 20 years on Time Team) has died.
Professor Aston, an archaeologist, educator and author was not only part of the brains behind the wonderful Time Team archaeology series, but also the colourful onscreen lynchpin of the show.
He had a wonderful on-screen rapport with the show’s host – (the now Sir) Tony Robinson of Blackadder fame – and together with other core members of the series, made the history of landscapes come to life.
Channel 4’s website contains the following from Tony Robinson – “Mick Aston was a great British eccentric; an atheist whose life’s work was medieval monasticism, an anarchist who for many decades loyally fulfilled the labyrinthine requirements of his university and British television, and a grumpy old curmudgeon with the kindest of hearts and a great capacity for friendship. His mission was sharing his passion for archaeology with ordinary people rather than keeping its secrets locked away behind the walls of Britain’s universities. This made him a contentious figure among some of his contemporaries and he was deeply wounded by the vociferous attacks he suffered, particularly in the early years of Time Team. But archaeology is now a subject that tens of thousands of people enjoy and value, and this is almost solely down to him. I hope he’ll receive belated recognition for that fact. He will be sorely missed by all of us who worked closely with him over the years.”
I’m sure that I’m not the only Aussie fan who is very upset by this news.