It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Al Hunter Ashton. He died on 27th April 2007, his death was due to heart failure. There is an online condolences book created, it is now closed to new entries but you can read it by Clicking here.
Elliott Rodgers, Al's Webmaster and friend.
AL HUNTER ASHTON is delighted to announce that he is now represented for all acting and writing work by Richard and James Ireson at The Narrow Road Company. 22, Poland Street London W1F 8GH. Tel: 020 7434 0406 Fax: 020 7439 1237 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT'S UP NEXT?: In conjunction with Martin Jameson (under the name Alun Nipper) Al has recently penned a new film in the "Afternoon Play" series intriguingly entitled "Pieces of a Silver Lining". It will be broadcast on Jan 25th at at 2.05pm on BBC1. (Incidentally this will be the last of Al's productions under the name Alun Nipper. Narrow Road have asked him to revert to using just one name for everything for clarity!) The film is directed by Steve Kelly, Produced by Ben Bickerton and has a cast including the fabulous Elizabeth Bennett. It was produced from Birmingham under the guidance of Ex producer Will Trotter.
Al was delighted to appear in a Charity Pantomime over Christmas at Basildon Towngate Theatre in association with Aquitaine Media Ltd. A guest role "Fireman Samson" was especially written for him with Basildon's own infamous "Dame" Ian Jose. Acquitaine Media Ltd and Nipper Productions are hoping to reproduce the pantomime next year on a commercial basis in assocation with the local council. (Photos appearing soon)
A book out this year "Alive and Kicking" tells the story of reformed drug addict Davy Bryce and features a chapter on Al when he knew Davy back in the nineties and wrote the award winning film about Davy's life also called "Alive and Kicking" which starred Lenny Henry and Robbie Coltrane.
Al's latest acting role, playing "John" in the current series of "Dream Team" on Sky One is due to be broadcast in February.
Al would like to express his deepest condolences to the family of Jack Palance who died recently after a long and distinguished career. Al had the pleasure of playing George Merry to Palances "Long John Silver" in a Disney remake of Treasure Island a few years ago. Al recalls: "They faked up The Isle of Man as a tropical Island and we all froze through a typical British Summer but Jack managed to laugh through it all and keep us entertained, handing out huge cigars to anyone brave enough to smoke them. He was a real star in the old Hollywood tradition and I shall "Treasure" working with him".
Having recently appeared as Darren Toynton in "Wire in The Blood" on ITV Al is now filming a leading role as FBI man "Chris Browning" of "Jekyll" which stars James Nesbitt as Jekyll and Hyde. It's written by Stephen Moffat and Produced by TV legend Beryl Vertue for Hartswood Tv. "I would have liked to have done more episodes but Hyde breaks every bone in my body in the end so I don't think a comeback is likely. "
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Al has now finished filming the part of hard man "Reggie" in a new film called "Sisterhood".
On the writing front Al's latest written work an afternoon play for BBC TV called "Pieces of a Silver Lining" is currently filming in Birmingham. It was written with Martin Jameson and is produced by Ben Bickerton. It will be aired next spring.
Al's episodes of "Doctors" and "Holby" continue to get regular airings but he has also just been commissioned by Postman Productions, run by Journalist Garry Bushell, to produce a feature length film on the infamous punk rock group "The Cockney Rejects". Al is working closely with Jeff and Mick Turner who shot to fame with the group in the 80's whilst still at school!
Al is involved in teaching on a number of writer's courses. You can find out how to book on one of these on the Writing Courses page - Click Here. (Photo to left: Al with fellow writing tutors Willy and Annie Russell in Turkey)
Despite his heavy work load last year Al recently completed two more charity cycle rides. The first was a massive 210 mile three day epic for the Rhys Daniels Trust from Coronation St to Albert Square with his mates Adam Woodyatt and Mark Wingett. Olympic Gold medalist Daley Thompson also joined in: "I would have spent more time with Daley but he's so fit he managed to finish a full eight hours in front of everyone else and had gone to bed by the time I trundled in" Suffice to say Al was last in every day, but completed the course and raised over £1700 for the charity which provides living accomodation for parents with children in hospital for long periods. "The lunatics at Rhys Daniels are already planning Paris to London next year, so I'm training in my wet suit" (Photo to right: Al catches up with Daley Thompson and Mark Wingett at the finish line)
He also completed the infamous W2W coast to coast cycle ride with Goff Bradley from Animal Planet's Wildlife SOS and last month the annual Richmond to Windsor charity run for Bowel Cancer Research.
"The Richmond Ride was a doddle but the coast to coast was a 150 miles slog in pouring rain. Of course the day after we finished the sun came out and reached record highs for the month! "(Soaked through with Goff Bradley & Stuart Parks from Animal Planet's Wildlife SOS programme)
Al Hunter Ashton
Al Hunter Ashton is something of a dichotomy. With the appearance of an East End bouncer and with a sharp-tongued working class accent it is often hard to believe that this well-known T.V. "thug" is also one of Britain's top-writers.
A veteran of over 100 Tv programmes and films, Al is often remembered for playing "Pitbull" in the long running ITV drama "London's Burning". (Six series) Al started his career in the early 1970's as a male-stripper and later became a stand-up comic. He still maintains that the stripper routine was actually funnier than his stand-up. He loved that "contact" with a live audience and has enjoyed it since appearing as a guest in many of our best known "live audience" Sitcoms including "Bread", "Brittas Empire" "Birds of a Feather" "Mr. Bean" and "Watching". However many people still remember him as the alcoholic chauffeur "Ray Grice" from the last few years of the original series of "Crossroads" - a role which won him the award of "Slob of The Year" from the Daily Mirror readers in 1987 or "Vinny" in the Detective series "Brokers Man" with Kev Whateley. A more detailed C.V. of all his acting work is available. Just Click Here to see Acting C.V.
During his long career as a writer Al has won the prestigious Prix Europa and the Monte Carlo Golden Nymph for two of his films "The Firm" starring Gary Oldman and "Alive and Kicking" starring Lenny Henry and Robbie Coltrane. Then there was also a BAFTA for his controversial film about homeless kids called "Safe". As a regular writer for "Doctors", "Eastenders" and "Holby City" Al keeps himself busy. In between all this work Al has still managed to write and appear in his own children's Tv series: "See How They Run!" [written with Tv director Tim O'Mara] which won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Children's drama, and the Australian Film Institute award for the same category. The series was also BAFTA nominated as was Al for his first attempt at directing - a 30 mins drama called "Alison" for the BBC "Scene" strand which remains the most repeated Drama on BBC schools Tv to this day. A Writing C.V. is available. Just Click Here to see Writing C.V.