William Ash (born 13th January 1977 in Chadderton, Lancashire) appeared on Coronation Street in two roles: firstly as a small lad named Spike who attended the charity fete held in the street in August 1987; and he returned to the programme in February 2002 as criminal Johnny James, who attempted to hijack Rita Sullivan's car after pulling off an armed raid at a rural post office.
He started his acting career at the age of eight as a member of the council-run Oldham Theatre Workshop, which became a talent pool for Granada Television at the time and the youngster won a role in Children's Ward. His chosen career as a professional footballer was replaced by one in acting when an injury on the field resulted in a broken leg. He was then accepted at Bretton Hall.
Other credits include roles in Making Out, Soldier Soldier, Heartbeat, Where the Heart Is, Clocking Off, Burn It, Conviction, Waterloo Road, Great Night Out, Being Eileen and Death in Paradise, along with the feature films Raining Stones, Fanny and Elvis, Mad About Mambo, Nicholas Nickleby, Until Death and Hush.