Taunton historian Robin Bush, 67, died yesterday after a long illness.
Oxford history graduate Mr Bush, of Kilkenny Avenue, was the resident historian on Channel 4’s Time Team archaeology series for nine years.
Born in Middlesex, he attended Exeter School, where he studied the school’s history and had two research paper published by the Devonshire Association.
After a spell as Surrey Record Office assistant archivist, he moved to Somerset Record Office in 1967, becoming deputy county archivist until his retirement in 1993.
He was assistant editor of the Victoria History of Somerset and published books on the history of Taunton, Exmouth and Wellington, followed by a series on Somerset.
As well as television work, he presented history programmes on the radio.
Mr Bush was a keen amateur actor and once appeared at the Oxford Playhouse with Monty Python actor Terry Jones.
He was a member of Taunton Amateur Operatic Society, Somerset Opera and Taunton Thespians.
He was a Somerset county councillor from 1997 to 2009, sitting as chairman for four years.
Mr Bush leaves a widow, Hilary Marshall, two children, Catherine and Alex, from a previous marriage, and two granddaughters.
Hilary said: “He came to Taunton to try to get back to Devon, but never got any further, although he never regretted that.
“He made Taunton and Somerset very much his own.
“He made our local history personal and made us aware of how grounded we were in the past.
“He made it funny and appealing and told a good story.”
Mr Bush’s funeral arrangements had not been finalised as the County Gazette went to press.
Somerset County Council chairman John Edney said: "It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Robin Bush.
"His passing will be a great loss to Taunton, especially to the colleagues he worked with at the county council.
"Robin was an articulate and amusing man and it was always a great pleasure to spend time in his company."
Cllr Danny Wedderkopp, who was elected to Somerset County Council's Fairwater division, after Mr Bush stepped down from the role, added: "I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to Robin's family. He was a very charismatic person and will be sorely missed."