John Alford (born John James Shannon; 30 October 1971) is a British 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.Born in Glasgow, Alford attended Anna Scher's stage school from age 11 in London, alongside future EastEnders actors Sid Owen and Patsy Palmer. 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 2001, he gained a role in the film Mike Bassett: England Manager.
In 2003 he played the part of drug-dealing and scheming flight attendant, Dean, in Mile High. 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).