South Tyneside funnyman Jason Cook is taking to the stage for a role with a difference.
The comedian has been named president of Jarrow Musical Theatre Company.
The group is a great platform for people who enjoy performing to be able to get up on stage in front of an audience and of course, I’m a big supporter of that.Jason Cook
The role had been held by Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn for several years, but the group says that, after deciding to do things differently, Jason was the obvious choice.
Lawrence Clark, secretary of the group, based at Jarrow Community Centre, said: “Stephen Hepburn has been our president for a number of years, and we’re very thankful to him and grateful for his support over the years, but we decided to go in a bit of a different direction.
“We got together to think of names, and Jason’s was at the top of the list as far as everyone was concerned.
“We asked him and were delighted when he agreed.
“He has come along to see some of our shows, and there’s always been a big buzz about the fact that we’ve got a local celebrity in the audience, both backstage and with fellow audience members.
“Jason has a big following, including more than 22,000 followers on Twitter, so one word from him could help us get a few extra bums on seats.
“He’s a great backer to have for our group, and we’re very excited to have his support, and we look forward to seeing him in the audience at our future performances.”
Jason has performed all over the country and won awards for his BBC2 sitcom Hebburn.
The show, based on his own experiences of growing up in the town, ran for two series and a Christmas special.
Jason recently organised a charity fundraising gala at the Customs House in South Shields to help keep the under-threat venue open and is now setting up his own comedy club at the Mill Dam theatre.
The 41-year-old said: “I’ve been to see a few of their shows, and it’s a real honour to be asked to take over as president, even if it is in Jarrow.
“The group is a great platform for people who enjoy performing to be able to get up on stage in front of an audience, and, of course, I’m a big supporter of that.”