Sunderland University to honour comic Eddie Izzard
Comedian Eddie Izzard and County Durham-born Olympic athlete Charlie Spedding are among those to be honoured by Sunderland University.
Mr Izzard is to receive an honorary doctorate of letters as part of a week-long series of graduation ceremonies.
Mr Spedding, who won a marathon bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics, is to receive an honorary fellowship.
Also to be honoured are "pitman painter" Norman Cornish and ITN news reader Alastair Stewart.
Eddie Izzard is one of Britain's best-known comedians and has won two Emmy Awards during his career. In August 2009 he ran 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief, raising £1.85m.
Ferryhill-born Charlie Spedding won the London Marathon in 1984 and went on to win a bronze medal in the Los Angeles Olympics. He remains the English record holder for the marathon.
Norman Cornish, also from County Durham, will receive an honorary doctorate of arts in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the arts, and in particular, his support of the mining community.
He began working in the mines in 1933, aged 14. At 15 he joined the famous Pitman's Academy and began painting and drawing, eventually becoming a celebrated artist.
Aged 92, he continues to chronicle the everyday lives of the people of Spennymoor, where he lives.
University vice-chancellor Prof Peter Fidler said: "Our honoraries have all made highly significant contributions within their fields.
"They will inspire our graduates as they celebrate their academic success and embark on their careers.
"We look forward to welcoming them and are proud to pay tribute to them."