John Alford (actor)
John Alford (born John James Shannon; 30 October 1971) is a Scottish-born English actor. He is known for his roles as Robbie Wright in the BBC series Grange Hill (1985–90) and Billy Ray in the ITV series London's Burning (1993–98). He also had three Top 30 hits on the UK Singles Chart in 1996.
He appeared as a child actor in ITV sitcom Now and Then before landing the role of Robbie Wright in 1985 in Grange Hill. Alford featured on the Grange Hill "Just Say No" anti-drug single. In 1980, he appeared in Not the Nine O'Clock News, joining in a song about a strike-breaking train driver.
In 1993, prior to his solo singing career, he took his highest profile adult role as fireman Billy Ray in ITV's London's Burning, remaining in the role for five years. In 1996 this led to a short-lived singing career during which he released a self-titled album. His first single release was "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", which reached number 13 and stayed in the UK chart for 5 weeks. His highest hit was "Blue Moon"/"Only You", which reached number 9 in the UK charts and stayed in the UK chart for 4 weeks. His last release was "If"/"Keep on Running", which got to number 24 and stayed in the UK chart for 3 weeks.
In 2005, Alford appeared in the reality TV show Trust Me...I'm A Beauty Therapist, where celebrities trained and worked in a salon doing hair and beauty. He has since appeared twice in Casualty, in May 2009 and May 2010, and was a prison guard in The Hatton Garden Job (2017).
In 1999 he was convicted of supplying drugs to the News of the World undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood, and subsequently imprisoned for nine months. During his trial, Alford said in his defence that he was set up, and complained that Mahmood was not punished for this. He was released after six weeks after agreeing to electronic tagging. Alford has stated that Mahmood claimed to be a well-connected prince, who could offer Alford a lucrative contract.
After the collapse of the trial of Tulisa, when the judge said there were "strong grounds for believing" Mahmood had committed perjury, Alford told Panorama that the conviction had led him to suicidal thoughts. He was quoted as saying, "No one can give me the 18 years I’ve lost, no one can give me that back. I hope this is the first day of a new life for me."
|25 November 1996||John Alford
|5 February 1996||"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"||#13||John Alford|
|13 May 1996||"Blue Moon"/"Only You"||#9|
|11 November 1996||"If"/"Keep on Running"||#24|
- Daphne Lockyer (2000-05-21). "Interview Patsy Palmer". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 2007-04-17.[permanent dead link]
- "R v JOHN JAMES SHANNON (AKA JOHN JAMES ALFORD) (2000)". London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association. 14 September 2000.
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- "Entertainment | London's Burning star released". BBC News. 1999-07-16. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
- Greenslade, Roy (27 July 2014). "John Alford: the TV actor whose career was wrecked by Mazher Mahmood" – via The Guardian.
- "Tulisa Contostavlos trial collapses as judge criticises Sun's Mazher Mahmood". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "More potential victims of 'fake sheikh' come forward after BBC documentary". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "UK | England | London | Alford banned over drink driving". BBC News. 2006-01-10. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
- "Chart Log UK: A - Azzido Da Bass". Zobbel.de. Retrieved 2012-03-29.