Donne Avenell was born in Croydon, Surrey, on 11 September 1925. He started his career as an assistant editor with the Amalgamated Press, working on Radio Fun before the Second World War. He served as a telegraphist in the Navy before returning to the Amalgamated Press, where he edited a magazine on architecture for six years. At the same time, he was also writing radio dramas and romance short stories under a variety of pseudonyms, including Alec Ashton and Charles King.
In the mid-50s he started writing for War Picture Library, and also wrote occasional stories for the newspaper strip Tiffany Jones. He wrote a lot of comic strips for Lion, including "The Spider", "Adam Eterno", "The Phantom Viking" (1966-68, drawn by Nevio Zeccara, Jesús Blasco and José Ortiz; started in Champion), "Oddball Oates" (1969-70, drawn by Tom Kerr), and "Dr. Mesmer's Revenge" (1971-72, drawn by Carlos Cruz). In 1975 He co-wrote Powerman, a Nigerian superhero comic, with Norman Worker, drawn by Dave Gibbons and Brian Bolland, and from 1978 to 1986 he wrote Axa, an erotic science fiction strip drawn by Enrique Badia Romero, in The Sun.
From 1977 to 1996 he worked for the Swedish publisher Semic, writing The Phantom, The Saint, Buffalo Bill and Tumac, and from the early 80s he wrote for Disney. In 1981 he wrote the official comic adaptation of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, drawn by John M. Burns. He also collaborated with Burns on Eartha for the News of the World in the early 80s.
He also wrote for television, including The Saint, and wrote two novels featuring The Saint in 1979 and 1980. He died in Brighton in November 1996.