It was with a very heavy heart that I heard the news of Mick Aston's death the other day. As someone who grew up watching Time Team (don't judge me, I'm not ashamed), I will freely admit that it was the work of Mick and his team that made me want to get into archaeology in the first place.
I was lucky enough to meet Professor Mick Aston whilst I was studying archaeology at University. It was during a two week excavation at a Roman villa deep in the Somerset countryside that Mick Aston came up to the site for the day. I had a lovely chat with him, he signed my trowel and allowed me to have a photograph with him. Just FYI, I'd spent the better part of 2 weeks knee deep in mud, living in a tent and getting drunk on a nightly basis...
Professor Aston really helped bring archaeology to the masses, and many households would sit down on a Sunday afternoon to watch the team conduct an archaeological excavation within three days. Whilst some of the methods have been questioned by archaeologists, you can't fault them for making archaeology more popular with the public. Mick Aston was one of a kind, a very friendly man who really knew his stuff and someone who has always had my respect.
Rest in Peace, Mick Aston. You will be sorely missed.