Nicholas Hytner, the director of the National Theatre, will step down from his role in 2015, paving the way for a new era at London's biggest theatre company. However, there was no scandal, disappointing figures or bad reviews that led to his decision to Hytner's decision to leave and he is presumably still the best person for the job.

It's been a hugely successful run for the 56-year-old, whose first action in his role was to launch the Travelex £10 ticket scheme which meant a third of seats were available at massive discounts. It encouraged students, families and the less well-off to enjoy a night at the theatre and appeared to work. The legendary Peter Brook once said "The future of the theatre is cheap seats," and Hytner appeared to listen. 

Elsewhere, he created NT Live, which broadcasted productions to screens around the UK and the world, allowing audiences at home to enjoy the likes of Helen Mirren in Phedre. However, more than anything else, Hytner brought the very best plays, dramatists and actors to the National Theatre. Amongst Hytner's own productions were Alan Bennett's The History Boys - one of the most successful plays in the West End - and Richard Bean's One Man, Two Guvnors, which starred James Corden in one particularly production.

Attention now turns to his successor in 2015, with Skyfall director Sam Mendes the likely candidate. The Oscar-winning director turned down working on the next Bond movie in favour of pursuing his work with the theatre, and Mendes would almost certainly thrive in one of the biggest roles in the business. It would represent the latest movie from one of Hollywood's big hitters into the theatre world. In 2003, Kevin Spacey announced that he was to become the artistic director of the Old Vic, one of London's oldest theatres, while Cate Blanchett is currently one of the artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company.

Nicholas HytnerSam Mendes
Nicholas Hytner [R] At A Production Of One Man, Two Guvnors and Sam Mendes [R], A Potential Successor.