Ashley Pharoah (born 13 September 1959) is a British television writer and co-creator of the successful drama series Life on Mars, which began on BBC One in 2006.
Pharoah was born in Somerset and educated at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, a secondary school, in Bristol.
After studying at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield in the 1980s, Pharoah began his television writing career on the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 1991, which he worked on 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 (1996).
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 the critically-panned Bonekickers, a six-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.