Sir Nicholas Hytner, the man who led the National Theatre to huge success and through various degrees of controversy in the past 10 years, is to step down from his post as director in 2015. The 56-year-old will officially leave at the end of March 2015, after previously signalling his intentions to step down, reports the Press Association.

Hytner has been the man in charge during the National Theatre's great highs, including The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guv'nors, though he came in for his fair share of criticism following the staging of Jerry Springer: The Opera, which brought a huge backlash from Christian groups. Following a performance screened by the BBC, it led to death threats against several television executives.  

Speaking of his exit, Sir Nicholas said, "It's been a joy and a privilege to lead the National Theatre for 10 years and I'm looking forward to the next two. I have the most exciting and most fulfilling job in the English-speaking theatre, and after 12 years it will be time to give someone else a turn to enjoy the company of my stupendous colleagues, who together make the National what it is." Executive director of the National Theatre Nick Starr will also leave his post near year after 12 years at the helm. 

The theatre's board will advertise for the director's position next week and a replacement is expected to be announced in the autumn.

Nicholas HytnerNicholas Hytner At A Lincoln Center Performance Of 'War Horse'