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  • Pharoah Ashley


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Ashley Pharoah

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Ashley Pharoah is a British Television writer, co-creator of the successful drama series Life on Mars, which began on BBC One in 2006.

Pharoah was born in Southampton attended Waycroft Junior School in Stockwood and continued at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, a direct grant grammar school, in Bristol.

After studying at the University Of Sussex and the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield in the 1980s, Pharoah played rugby for Wimbledon and began his television writing career on the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 1991, on which he worked for four years and where he met co-writer Matthew Graham. He went on in 1994 – 1995 to contribute five episodes to the popular BBC One drama series Casualty and four episodes to Silent Witness .

For ITV he created the long-running series Where the Heart Is, for which he wrote episodes from 1997 to 2000, and contributed to the BBC One TV programme Down to Earth in 2001. Among other work in the early 2000s he scripted an adaptation of Tom Brown's Schooldays, starring Stephen Fry, for the ITV1 network in 2005.

Meanwhile Pharoah, Matthew Graham and veteran Eastenders writer Tony Jordan spent years co-creating Life on Mars, which was first shown in 2006, and Pharoah contributed episodes to both series of the acclaimed show. Other work around this time included creating the series Wild at Heart (2006 – present) for Company Pictures and adapting Under the Greenwood Tree for Ecosse Films.

In 2006 he formed Monastic Productions with Matthew Graham. Monastic Productions are involved in the Life on Mars spin-off Ashes to Ashes and co-produced Bonekickers, a 6-part drama series about archaeology, set in Bath. Both series are productions for BBC One. He has won two International Emmys for "Life On Mars", a series which was remade for ABC in America, starring Harvey Keitel. In 2010 Pharoah adapted "Case Histories", the novel by Kate Atkinson, for the BBC. It stars Jason Isaacs and was a co-production between Monastic Productions and Ruby Television.

In February 2011 Pharoah was made an Honorary Fellow of the National Film and Television School; this is awarded "in recognition of outstanding contribution to the British film and television industry". Jonathan Ross also received this fellowship at the same graduation ceremony.


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