OSCAR-winner Danny Boyle is third on a top 100 list of the UK’s most influential people in performing arts.

And David Thacker, artistic director at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, is also one of 13 people named who represent the country’s regional theatre on this year’s Stage 100 power list.

The article said: “Bolton Octagon has been performing at an exceptionally high level for some time under Thacker’s leadership.”

Former Thornleigh Salesian College pupil Danny, from Radcliffe, has seen his ranking boosted from number eight last year following his role as director of the show-stopping opening ceremony at the London 2012 Olympics.

Mr Boyle, who worked at the Octagon as an usher while at school, shares the position with Ruth Mackenzie, director of the Cultural Olympiad — the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympics.

The Stage praised the Oscarwinning director for taking on what had seemed an “unenviable task” following Beijing’s impressive ceremony in 2008.

But it praised him for a “spectacular and moving Olympics Opening Ceremony which was undoubtedly the theatrical highlight of 2012 and a timely reminder of what a talented and creative nation Britain is”.

Taking the top spot for the fourth successive year are Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, joint chief executives or Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG).

ATG is the largest owner and operator of theatres in the UK with several venues across the North West including Manchester’s Opera House and Palace Theatre.

This year, they are joined in equal first place by Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr, artistic director and executive director of the National Theatre in London.

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has dropped down two places to number six, while Sir Cameron Mackintosh remains at number four.

Mr Thacker said: “Everyone at the Octagon is delighted to have been recognised by the prestigious professional newspaper The Stage.

“It’s particularly gratifying for me to be commended for my work as artistic director. The Octagon’s achievements are a result of imaginative and dedicated work from a team of people.

“We are proud of Bolton and we hope that Bolton is proud of the Octagon.”