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Al Hunter Ashton 1957-2007
 


Country : Solihull, West Midlands
Profession : Actor, Script writer
Date of birth : 1957-06-26
Date of death : 2007-04-27
Cause of Death : Heart Failure

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Al Hunter Ashton (born Alan Hunter; 26 June 1957 - 27 April 2007) was an English actor and script writer.

Life

Al came from a working class background. Born Alan Hunter (he later changed his name by deed poll to Al Hunter), he wrote scripts for his own amusement from the age of 15. He worked in his spare time as a stand-up comedian in clubs for £15 a night but became a stripper on discovering that he could earn the same amount for shedding his clothes every evening. "My stripping routine was actually funnier than my stand-up one," he said.

He acted under the name "Al Ashton", choosing this to ensure he appeared high up in any alphabetical credits. He wrote under the name "Al Hunter". He later combined the two acting and writing under the name "Al Hunter Ashton".

Work

His first professional acting work was with a Theatre In Education company in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, and he was subsequently cast in Willy Russell plays such as Breezeblock Park (at Liverpool Playhouse) and Blood Brothers (at Derby Playhouse). Russell also later commissioned him to write the BBC Schools television play Teaching Matthew (in which Hunter also had a small role as a policeman, 1985), a satire on Russell's own Educating Rita.

Al worked very closely with the Stage 22 School of Arts Network in the UK and upon his death, children from the school made their own version of the Queen hit Only the Good Die Young which was dedicated to him and his three young children.

List of acting roles

  • Wire in the Blood. Darren Toynton. ITV. Dir: Robson Green
  • London's Burning. LWT's drama series about Firefighters. Played "Pitbull" the loud mouthed station bully.
  • Crossroads. Soap. Played Ray Grice. 108 Episodes. Central TV.
  • Angels. Played Mike Hathaway in the long running BBC TV Drama Series.
  • The 10th Kingdom A TV mini-series. As a prisoner alongside Jimmy Nail (Clayface the Goblin)
  • Jekyll. Serial drama. Played bodyguard
  • Jack & the Beanstalk. Pantomime. Playing Fireman Sampson in the Stage 22 production at the Towngate Theatre, Basildon - Christmas 2006

List of writing credits

  • Pieces of a Silver Lining. BBC Afternoon Theatre with Martin Jameson
  • Eastenders. BBC TV soap. Regular contributor since 1987. Writer/Storyliner.
  • Holby City. Writer, Storyliner, Producer.
  • The Broker's Man. Creator and Writer. (with Tim O'Mara).
  • Safe. Bafta winner. Best Single Drama.
  • The Firm. Screen Two. Gary Oldman. Director Alan Clarke. Winner Best Film Czech Film Festival & Prix Europa.

Death

In April 2007, Al Hunter Ashton died of heart failure at the age of 49.

Awards

  • Safe (1993), a harrowing tale of homelessness. Won the 1994 Bafta TV Award as Best Single Drama. Al Ashton, writer.

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