SOUTH Tyneside funny man Jason Cook has been honoured by his former university.
The creator of the hit BBC TV series, Hebburn, was given an honorary fellowship by Sunderland University yesterday.
The writer, actor and stand up comedian, studied at the university, but never completed his degree, as his comedy career took off during his first year of study.
Now Jason, of Hebburn, has been acknowledged for his contribution to entertainment as a writer, actor and comedian.
He said: “I’m amazed and humbled to be getting this award.”
“I’m totally blown away, and it was great for my mam to finally see me graduate from something as well. She was over the moon.”
At the age of 18, Jason followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Merchant Navy.
During this time he wrote comedy sketches, and after returning to the North East to study Media Production at the University, began touring as a stand-up comedian.
His solo show, My Confessions, won critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and was named Best International Show at the 2007 New Zealand International Comedy Festival.
In 2011, he co-created and appeared in Hebburn, a live show about his hometown, as part of the Salford Sitcom Showcase, alongside fellow comedian Steffan Peddie, also from Hebburn.
The BBC commissioned two series and a Christmas special of the popular sitcom, which was filmed partly in the North East.
It was also voted best new TV sitcom in the 2013 Comedy.co.uk Awards, later that year was also named best drama at the Royal Television Society Awards, and was nominated Best Comedy in the 2014 National Television Awards.
University vice-chancellor, Professor Peter Fidler, said: “Our honoraries have all made highly significant contributions within their fields and will inspire our graduates as they celebrate their academic success and embark on their careers.
“We are proud to pay tribute to them.”