It has been announced that the former Time Team archaeologist Professor Mick Aston has died at the age of 66. Aston was a long-running contributor on the show featuring from 1994 until 2011.

The news was confirmed by the show’s Twitter account yesterday "It is with a very heavy heart that we've been informed that our dear colleague Mick Aston has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family."

Speaking in The Guardian, his co-star Phil Harding explained that he had been suffering from health problems recently. He said "It just seems so incredible, like a bad dream, but unfortunately this is no dream."

"He was a seriously good mate and a seriously good archaeologist, a unique man. Everybody loved him, he just had a way with people.

"I cannot believe there was anybody who disliked him, he just had such a relaxed way. He had incredible knowledge and an effortless way of making archaeology accessible to people."

Aston was unhappy with the direction the programme was going when he announced his departure from it in 2011 saying it was “dumbing down.”

He said of his departure "The time had come to leave," he explained. "I never made any money out of it, but a lot of my soul went into it. I feel really, really angry about it."