A THEATRE company founder has been honoured by the Open University.
Mike Lucas, of Mikron Theatre Company, has been awarded an honorary degree in recognition of his "notable contribution to the educational and cultural well-being of society".
The founder and artistic director of the company formally becomes a Master of the university next month.
He will receive his degree from Betty Boothroyd, Chancellor of the Open University, at an award ceremony in Harrogate.
Born in Coventry, Mike gained a law degree from the London School of Economics, before going on to study drama at Webber Douglas.
As a young actor, his first theatre engagement was, literally, at the end of the pier at Brighton.
His first television appearance was in Crossroads, and he made his film debut in Carry On Camping - under Barbara Windsor!
It was in the early 1970s that Mike first decided to take live theatre on to the waterways.
Every year since then, Mikron has travelled the country's canals and rivers aboard the 68-year old narrowboat, Tyseley, performing to thousands of people in pubs, village halls and community centres.
In 1978, Mike, his family and Mikron moved to Marsden.
The rich history and culture of the Pennines attracted him and has inspired many shows, on subjects as diverse as the Yorkshire woollen industry, the Luddites and hilltop farming.
Mike has long campaigned for the regeneration of waterways, including the Huddersfield Narrow Canal - which re-opened in 2001 after 60 years of dereliction.
He was also involved in the restoration of the Marsden Mechanics Institute and initiated the annual Marsden Jazz Festival, now in its 13th year.
Mike has written more than 30 plays on social, political and environmental themes, many with a connection to the history of the canals and the people who have lived and worked on them.
His book, I'd Go Back Tomorrow, published in 2001, describes the extraordinary life of a little theatre company touring on the waterways over the past three decades.