Professor Mick Aston, the archaeologist from the hugely popular TV show 'Time Team', has died aged 66.
Aston, along with fellow archaeologist Dr Phil Harding, became a household figure through the Channel 4 series, offering expertise on ‘digs’, with the late academic routinely bedecked in wellingtons and a colourful jumper.
Aston (right) with Time Team presenter Tony Robinson
Harding, Aston's 'Time Team' colleague described him as "a seriously good mate and a seriously good archaeologist".
"It just seems so incredible like a bad dream, but unfortunately this is no dream," quoted the Guardian. "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."
The 62-year-old added: "He had incredible knowledge and an effortless way of making archaeology accessible to people."
Professor Aston, who quit the show in 2012 after 19 years, had reportedly been suffering health problems.
Born in the West Midlands, Aston gained a degree in geography from the University of Birmingham before becoming a professional archaeologist. During his career he taught at his alma mater, as well as Oxford University and the University of Bristol.
News of Aston's death was confirmed by the 'Time Team' Twitter feed.
A Facebook tribute page was quickly set up in memory of the iconic archaeologist.
Joanne Landreth wrote on the page: "Very sad he seemed such a warm hearted man and a great archaeologist too who brought the past to life for many people."
Zandra Wheeler added: "He will be missed, an inspiration to many."
Tributes also flooded in on the HuffPost UK Facebook page.