Reports are coming in of the untimely passing of Time Team's Professor Mick Aston.

Mick Aston was one of the nation's most beloved public figures who brought archaeology into the living rooms of millions, along with Tony Robinson and Phil Harding, through Channel 4's Time Team.

Often shying away from the limelight Mick was more at home knee deep in mud at an archaeological dig than in front of the paparazzi.

His expertise was officially recognised last year when he won the Lifetime Achievement Award in the British Archaeological Awards, which he received as a surprise at home and not in London where the bi-annual ceremony is held.

Over recent years Professor Aston had suffered numerous bouts of ill health including a brain haemorrhage in 2003.

Mike Heyworth, who is director of the Council for British Archaeology, paid tribute to Mick Aston on his Twitter saying "Gutted to hear that Mick Aston has passed away. A huge loss for his family, friends & archaeology. He did so much for so many people."

*Journalist's note*

Mick Aston (left) with producer Tim taylor (PD)

Mick Aston (left) with producer Tim Taylor (PD)

In an age where the media is being dumbed down with nonsense reality television, Time Team managed to grasp the British public's imagination and inspired a new generation of archaeologists despite all the odds.

If Mick Aston has a legacy it is this, with his disheveled hair, bright knitted jumpers, unparalleled experience in the field of archaeology and infectious enthusiasm he has inspired generations (both present and future) of would/will be archaeologists of all ages who are ready to help protect, embrace and learn about our nation's living historical landscape.

My 5 year old daughter was in the garden last week digging with a toy spade and she said to me, "Daddy I want to be an archaeologist like the man with the big hair on Time Team" and she regularly comes back from school with stones that she says are pieces of Roman pottery.

You will be sorely missed Professor Aston.

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